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#Natureology Species the of Day – Galapagos land snail (Bulimulus nux)

January 5, 2013

#Natureology Species the of Day  - Galapagos land snail (Bulimulus nux)

Galápagos land snail (Bulimulus nux) is one of many tiny endangered bulimulid snails endemic to the Galápagos Islands, which often go unnoticed due to their small size and dull brown colours . This species has a dark brownish-black, conical, spiralled shell, streaked with a rusty reddish brown.

Bulimulus nux is endemic to San Cristóbal and Floreana Islands in the Galápagos Islands. It is known from four subpopulations with an area of occupancy less than 20 km². This species is found in humid zone on Floreana and San Cristóbal Islands, in Scalesia forest on Floreana Island. Specimens mainly found on trunks (often under bark) or in leaf litters. It’s habitat in the Galapagos Islands has experienced a dramatic decline because of farming, road and house construction, and tourism .Nothing is known of this Galápagos land snail’s biology.

San Cristóbal and Floreana have been badly affected and each now has more than five bulimulid species categorized as Critically Endangered or Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as well as several previously recorded species that are now extinct.The main threats to the species are habitat destruction and/or alteration and/or fragmentation by human activities and introduced species.

Grazing livestock (goats, pigs) and invasive alien plants have also altered the snail’s habitat. Additionally, introduced predators such as black rats (Rattus rattus) and little fire ants (Wasmania auropunctata) have had a direct impact on land snail populations by feeding on them and destroying their eggs .There are currently no conservation measures targeting this species but habitat restoration and eradication of invasive species must be implemented to save Galapagos land snail from extinction.

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