Watershed Facts / Wildlife and Biodiversity

Wildlife on the Harpeth River


The Harpeth River is among a group of freshwater rivers in the Southeastern United States that contain a greater variety of aquatic life than almost anywhere else in the world. Aquatic life in the Harpeth ranges from great blue herons and river otters to aquatic insects and microscopic zooplankton. Included in this diverse array of wildlife are several threatened and endangered fish and mollusks species. The staff at Harpeth Conservancy work tirelessly to protect these myriad species through science-based education, restoration, and advocacy.

The diverse wildlife of the Harpeth can be seen from any streambank, but the best way to view wildlife is while on the river, whether in canoe, kayak, or floating on a tube. The next time you’re out on the river, impress your friends and family by being able to identify some of the amazing wildlife you come across. Click on the links below to learn more about these fascinating aquatic and terrestrial critters that call the Harpeth River home!


Other wildlife links:

Tennessee's Watchable Wildlife

Get involved with the Tennessee Amphibian Monitoring Program

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's 2011 study  and follow-up in 2015 conducted as part of the Harpeth River Lowhead Dam Removal Project

Overview of fish species found in the Harpeth River

Overview of Mussels found in the Harpeth River by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Sources of information and other useful links:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - Home

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency - Freshwater Mussels in Tennessee

North American Native Fishes Association

Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society

Tennessee Watchable Wildlife


Fun online games, activities and events for kids:

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

US Environmental Protection Agency

US Geological Survey

National Wildlife Federation

US Fish and Wildlife Service