The boggomoss snail is a medium-sized snail characterised by a relatively thin, semitransparent shell. The shell is almost flat with a slightly elevated spire and very small central depression. Shell diameter is between 21 and 26mm, shell height is between 14 and 16mm. The shell is light brown with darker markings and the body is light brown–grey.
Distribution and habitat
The boggomoss snail is endemic to the Fitzroy Basin and is found along a distance of 90kms of the Dawson River between Taroom and Theodore and within 2kms of the river. Broad habitat types in which the species has been found include:
- Riparian woodlands and forest
- Stands of Carnarvon fan palm
- Open forest fringing ephemeral wetlands on the Dawson River floodplain
- Mound springs.
The boggomoss snail is a terrestrial nocturnal species that lives among deep, moist accumulated leaf litter and under fallen logs. It is thought to feed on fungi and other microscopic organisms growing among decomposing leaf litter and on fallen timber. The species aestivates (remains in a state of inactivity for prolonged periods during hot/dry periods) by loosely sealing to the underside of logs or to leaves in the litter.
The boggomoss snail is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The species has a very restricted distribution, large seasonal fluctuations in population size and a number of known and potential threats placing it at high risk of extinction.
- Clearing of vegetation—the majority of the native vegetation in the Dawson Valley has been cleared for farming and within the little remaining native vegetation the snail is dependent on oases of moist habitat.
- Inappropriate fire regimes—fire affects both the snail directly by incineration and dehydration, and indirectly through the destruction of microhabitat (litter and logs).
- Inappropriate grazing regimes can result in habitat degradation from grazing and compaction of soil and loss of snails from trampling.
- Weeds have the potential to alter both the lower shrub layer and consequent litter as well as contributing to an increased fuel load increasing the risk of fire.
- Feral pigs—using their muscular mobile snout and forefeet, pigs effectively root up the ground searching for food, including snails.
- Feral house mice prey on snails and due to the seasonally high numbers of mice that occur in the Dawson River Valley, have the potential to consume significant numbers of boggomoss snails.
- Feral cane toads—land snails are eaten by cane toads and cane toads occur in the Dawson River Valley.
- Earthworks such as wide-scale quarrying or smaller scale earthmoving associated with roadworks have the potential to affect the snail habitat.
- Changes to hydrology from water extraction or a structure such as a dam or weir, could have significant consequences for the boggomoss snail.
The majority of boggomoss snail habitat is on freehold land.
Actions for landholders to protect the species:
- Protect boggomoss snail habitat from fire
- Undertake weed control in boggomoss snail habitat
- Reduce stocking rates (cattle can reduce weeds) or protect boggomoss snail habitat by fencing
- Control pigs