Wildlife - Rhytida oconnori snail

Rhytida oconnori snail

One of the rarest species you may find in the Abel Tasman is the native snail Rhytida oconnori.  This is a smaller snail than the Powelliphanta, with a more fragile shell, and it is found at only two sites in New Zealand, here at Caanan and at Parapara Peak in Golden Bay.

Rhytida oconnori are critically endangered and the distribution of Rhytida is limited to a few areas in the Abel Tasman and a couple of adjacent places. Snails are most vulnerable to predators like rats and possums, but also to pigs, which additionally destroy the habitat through intensive rooting. Hedgehogs, thrushes and weka are also known to predate on snails.

Rhytida oconnori are most abundant in mixed beech forest, and in the higher altitude kaikawaka  and mountain beech habitat. During snail monitoring Rhytida oconnori have been found living in the larger Powelliphanta snail shells – it is thought they may use the shells for shelter so please do not remove the snail shells from the park if you find them.