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




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Page electorate: Meet the Candidates

Anna Ludvik, Animal Justice Party candidate for Page.

Federal election next Saturday, meet the candidates

French yacht thief escapes charge, taxpayers foot $15k bill

 And the taxpayer is footing the $15,000 bill for removing the vessel from the beach after it began breaking up in king tides early in May.

Police say the case of a $200,000 yacht theft is not on their books.

‘Fish and chips, not fish and ships’ at Yamba

Yamba residents join with Greens to protest Iluka mega port.

Pop-up protest at Yamba today against Yamba port industrialisation

Latest deals and offers

Lantern Parade Volunteers

Volunteers load lanterns for the parade.

Lismore Lantern Parade 2016

Experiencing t he dancing, music, and lights of the 2016 Lismore Lantern Parade.

Samba Blisstas drumming crescendo

Percussion collective the Samba Blisstas rip out the beats at the 2016 Lismore...

OPINION: Should we give up the great Aussie dream?

Generic housing Rural View.

First home buyers are struggling big time

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.