Radio tracking reveals more rare snails in the Abel Tasman National Park


A radio-tracked Powelliphanta hochstetteri snail in the Abel Tasman National Park. © Dr Brian Lloyd

Nelson Mail

If you want to see one of New Zealand’s rare Powelliphanta snails, your best chance is near Harwoods Hole in the Canaan Downs.

Radio tracking of the rare Powelliphanta hochstetteri in the Abel Tasman National Park revealed the population is even larger than previously estimated.

In a first, the carnivorous snails have been tracked at night. Snail researcher Dr Brian Lloyd radio-tracked 10of the P. hochstetteri, day and night, for 41 days.

Lloyd and Dr Ruth Bollongino​ attached tiny radio transmitters to the snails near Canaan Downs, in the

upper reaches of the Abel Tasman, to investigate their behaviour and activity.

Lloyd said it was uncommon for the snails to move during the daytime, but it was not known how far they travelled overnight.

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