News

Researcher's special tech stays on trail of Mitchell's snail

HAIL THE SNAIL: Dr Jonathan Parkyn has written a thesis on the rare Mitchell’s rainforest snail.
HAIL THE SNAIL: Dr Jonathan Parkyn has written a thesis on the rare Mitchell’s rainforest snail. John Waddell

THE secret life of Australia's rarest snail has been revealed, thanks to the work of Southern Cross University researcher Dr Jonathan Parkyn.

With a 5cm wide cone-shaped shell, the Mitchell's rainforest snail is not only rare - it is also one of the largest land snails.

It lives in debris on the rainforest floor.

Dr Parkyn used miniature radio transmitters - and spent four years crawling around in leaf litter - to discover what the snails eat and where they go during the day.

SNAIL TALES

  • The Mitchell's rainforest snail is listed as critically endangered
  • It has a large conical banded shell, up to 5cm wide
  • There are fewer than 500 mature individual snails left
  • The biggest threat to its survival is habitat destruction

He has now written a thesis on the Mitchell's rainforest snail, Studies on the ecology of the endangered camaenid land snail Thersites mitchellae (Cox, 1864).

His work has provided valuable new information on this species, which will help with conservation and management.

"With conventional searching, locating the snails can prove tricky," Dr Parkyn said.

"But by putting a transmitter on them we can track and locate previously tagged ones that normally would be out of sight.

"As a result we were able to demonstrate how active they were at night and how far they travelled as the humidity increased."

Dr Parkyn's research was conducted between the Richmond River at Ballina and the Tweed River near the Queensland border.

He said the results showed the snails were capable of long range movements - if the habitat and climate is suitable.

"This suggests that snails may be capable of colonising new habitat patches if appropriate connectivity is available between habitats," he said.

"This has important implications for future attempts to restore habitat for this critically endangered land snail."

Topics:  environment, offbeat, southern cross university




Prestigious award for the best burial crypt in town

FE Marsh & Co has won an award for their work on St Carthage's Cathedral, which included the construction of a new 12-vault burial crypt beneath the floor.

Awards for fancy pools and underground crypts

Top 10 moments in Jenny Dowell's time as mayor

Lismore City Mayor Jenny Dowell has been busy during her eight years at the helm.

We take a look at the Top 10 moments for Jenny Dowell as mayor.

Latest deals and offers

Elm Street is far from a nightmare

Elm street's new album is making waves. Photo Contributed

Elm Street talks about drumming studios, power metal and the album.

Don't miss Tim Stokes' big live show

NEW RELEASE: Byron Bay artist Tim Stokes.

At the Byron Theatre on Saturday, August 13.

Max Pellicano brings The King back

ON STAGE: Max Pellicano during his tribute show Elvis To The Max.

The Elvis to the Max Show is coming to Ballina

What's on the small screen this week

Keira Maguire and Richie Strahan in a scene from The Bachelor.

SEVEN gears up for the Rio Olympics while The Bachelor continues.

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

Dance to Tora's groovy chillwave

LOCALS: Byron Bay music band Tora arem, from left, Toby Tunis-Plant, Thorne Davis, Shaun Johnston, Jai Piccone and Jo Loewenthal.

The five-piece will offer a live show in Byron Bay later this month.

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started