Mount Kaputar high elevation and dry rainforest land snail and slug community in the Nandewar and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions - profile

Indicative distribution


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known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Mount Kaputar high elevation and dry rainforest land snail and slug community in the Nandewar and Brigalow Belt South Bioregions
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 20 Dec 2013
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017

Description

The Mount Kaputar snail and slug Endangered Ecological Community (EEC) is an assemblage of at least 20 species of native land snail fauna known from high elevation and dry rainforests of the Mount Kaputar region.  The identification and listing of this land snail community under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995) is the first of its kind in Australia.

Species characterising this gastropod community include several endemics (Coenocharopa ‘Mt Kaputar’, Cralopa kaputarensis, Scelidoropa nandewar, Thersites sp. 1, and Vitellidelos kaputarensis) as well as species occurring as isolated populations (Austrochloritis kaputarensis, Discocharopa stenomphala, and Kaputarenesta nandewarensis).  Other species known to be part of this community may be more widely distributed (e.g. Diphyoropa 'Nandewar'; Austrorhytida nandewarensis, and Brevisentis kaputarensis).  There is also a bright pink slug (Triboniophorus aff. Graeffei), which is likely endemic, that characterises the community.

The charismatic ‘giant pink slug’ has become the ‘face’ of the EEC.  It is florescent pink in colour and grows to around 20 cm long and 6 cm wide, making it quite unmistakable.  The pink slug feeds in the cover of night on algae and mosses growing in the forest canopy, and can be seen on cool misty mornings as they descends to hide among the leaf litter of the forest floor.

While most members of the EEC are vegetarian, three fascinating snails are cannibalistic.  These predators follow the trail of other snails and slugs to attack them. They are known to enter the shell of their prey, thus leaving their victim no means of escape.

Distribution

Known from the Mount Kaputar National Park the EEC may also occur elsewhere in the region where suitable habitats exist. The EEC is restricted to higher altitudes (above about 1000 m) and dry rainforest (including semi-evergreen vine thicket) areas at lower elevations (above 500 m) in and around Mount Kaputar.  The area greater than 1000 m AHD  (Australian Height Datum) consists of about 107 km2; estimates of dry rainforest remnants below 1000 m AHD are less than 1 km2.

Habitat and ecology

  • Dominant trees associated with this EEC include Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora), Ribbon Gum (E. viminalis), Mountain Gum (E. dalrympleana), Rough-barked Mountain Gum (E. volcanica), Silvertop Stringybark (E. laevopinea) and Red Stringybark (E. macrorhyncha).
  • Non-eucalypt dominated vegetation assemblages associated with this EEC include Kunzea sp., Tea Tree (Leptospermum polygalifolium) wet heath on high elevation rocky outcrops and dry rainforest (including semi-evergreen vine thicket) down to about 500 m.
  • The land snail and slug EEC tends to occur in habitat with low average temperatures, and high rainfall and humidity, resulting in favorable moisture conditions for the land snails and slugs.
  • They shelter among the decomposing leaf litter, forest debris, rocks and logs.
  • During dry period species from this community may stay in shaded areas and move deep into rock crevices. They can enter aestivation (dormancy) and may seal their shell with a membrane of dry mucus to reduce metabolic rate and prevent water loss.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NandewarKaputar Known None