Project Janszoon Newsletter – July 2016

In this issue

  • In this issue
  • Eye on the people’s beach
  • Robin under surveillance
  • Closer ties with the Brook
  • Tinline’s Napoleon link
  • Rare snail doing well
  • Janszoon trapping team doing the k’s
  • Road closure due to possum control
  • Dune work reducing fire risk
  • Education update

Rare snail doing well in Park

Imagine finding a critically endangered species, like the kakapo or Maui dolphin, was much more prevalent in an area than previously thought.  You would jump for joy, right?

Well that is exactly what has happened in the Abel Tasman.  A survey of carnivorous land snails has found the distribution of the nationally critical Rhytida oconnori snail is much wider than expected.

“To put this in context, if the Rhytida oconnori had feathers it would be the equivalent of a kakapo as they are both classified nationally critical.  Imagine finding you had 20% more kakapo than thought, people would be popping the champagne corks,” says DOC biodiversity ranger Mike Ogle.

DOC and Project Janszoon undertook the survey to better understand the distribution of both the Rhytida oconnori and thePowelliphanta hochstetteri hochstetteri (P. h. hochstetteri) in the Park.

While historically R. oconnori would have had a wider distribution, as recently as 1998 this snail was reported as having been reduced to surviving within a 1km radius of Pages Saddle near Harwoods Hole.  However this survey found evidence of the land snail up to 9km east and north-east of this area, with most south and west of Awaroa estuary. The nationally endangered P. h. hochstetteri was also found further east and west than previously thought.  A further positive surprise was finding a high number of P. h. hochstetteri shells at Waterfall Creek, an area previously considered to be probably out of its range.   

Project Janszoon Operations Manager Andrew Macalister says this survey has highlighted the importance of extending predator control to protect the snails. 

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