Marooned on an Extinct Volcano: the Conservation Status of Four Endemic Land Snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) at Mount Kaputar, New South Wales

Michael J Murphy, Jessica K Murphy, C James Faris, Michael J Mulholland

Abstract


Volcanic activity in northern inland New South Wales between 40 and 15 million years ago was followed by general continental-scale drying and coastward contraction of mesic ecosystems between 15 and 2 million years ago. Together, these processes resulted in the creation of high-elevation climatic refuges such as Coolah Tops, Mount Kaputar and the Warrumbungle Range as western outposts of the mesic eastern highlands on the dry western slopes. These areas are important hotspots of land snail species diversity and endemism. A high-elevation and dry rainforest land snail community at Mount Kaputar, recognised as being of outstanding conservation significance, was listed as an endangered ecological community under NSW legislation in 2013. Two species from this community, the Kaputar Pink Slug Triboniophorus sp. nov. “Kaputar” and Bronze Rippled Pinwheel Snail Cralopa kaputarensis , are currently listed on the IUCN Red List , as endangered and data deficient respectively. This paper provides an updated assessment of the conservation status of the Kaputar Pink Slug, a reassessment of the Bronze Rippled Pinwheel Snail and original assessment of another two endemic Mount Kaputar species (Kaputar Carnivorous Snail Vitellidelos kaputarensis and Kaputar Keeled Snail Thersites sp. nov. “Kaputar”), concluding that all four species meet the criteria for listing as endangered on the IUCN Red List .

Full Text:

PDF