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Preliminary re - survey of the land snail fauna of Rotuma: conservation and biosecurity implications

Brodie, Gilianne D. and Barker, G.M. and Stevens, Froseann and Fiu, M. (2014) Preliminary re - survey of the land snail fauna of Rotuma: conservation and biosecurity implications. Pacific Conservation Biology, 20 (1). pp. 94-107. ISSN 1038-2097

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In May 2012 Rotuma Island, the main island of the remote Rotuma Group (Fiji), was surveyed to document the composition of the non-native land snail fauna and to investigate if populations of previously recorded native land snail species persist. From sampling at nine locations, twenty-one land snail species from eleven gastropod families were found. Of these, eight species are non-native and two of these Parmarion martensi Simroth, 1893 and Quantula striata (Gray, 1834) (Ariophantidae) are new records for the Rotuma Group. Ten of the 13 species of native land snails found – including the endemic partulid Partula leefi E.A. Smith, 1897 and the rhytidid Delos gardineri (E.A. Smith, 1897) – were detected only as empty shells. The native Ouagapia perryi (E.A. Smith, 1897) and the endemic Succinea rotumana E.A. Smith, 1897 and Sinpolyea rotumana (E.A. Smith, 1897) remain undetected on Rotuma Island since their first collection in 1897. The non-native, invasive predatory flatworm, Platydemus manokwari, was also found and represents a major threat to the island’s land snail fauna. This non-native species appears to be absent in many other parts of the Fiji Island archipelago and thus a re-evaluation of existing quarantine measures is required to address its potential spread to non-invaded areas. Comparisons with earlier surveys indicate a shift in the structure of the Rotuman land snail fauna over a 115-year period, with declining native components and increasing prevalence of non-native species. Further sampling, focusing on residual native habitat in less accessible areas such as coastal cliffs and off-shore islets, is urgently needed to establish the conservation status of Rotuman native land snails and determine the threat posed by both, non-native snails and P. manokwari.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Gilianne Brodie
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2014 21:43
Last Modified: 04 May 2016 02:14

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