The land snails and slugs have the highest level of endemism among all major animal groups on the California Channel Islands, with nearly 75% of the native terrestrial species confined to one or more of the 8 islands. In spite of this endemism, and in spite of the rarity of some species, the snails and slugs are one of the most poorly known groups. We present the first comprehensive overview of the land mollusk fauna of the Channel Islands, along with the results of recent intensive inventory studies. Surveys on San Clemente Island have increased the number of land mollusk species known from that island by 50%, and a single survey trip to Santa Rosa Island more than doubled the number of species known on that island. More additions to the land snail and slug fauna are certain for the poorly surveyed northern Channel Islands. This new information has provided insight into trends in species diversity and biogeographic patterns, with marked differences in species composition between the northern and southern islands. Our surveys to date suggest a strong link between the recovery of native vegetation on the islands and the population status of land snails and slugs, with substantially larger numbers of native mollusks on those islands that have been free of nonnative mammals the longest. Survey work is continuing, but it is clear that some very rare endemic snails and slugs on the islands merit specific management attention.
|Title||Land mollusks of the California Channel Islands: An overview of diversity, populations, and conservation status|
|Authors||Charles A. Drost, Jeffrey C. Nekola, Barry Roth, Timothy A. Pearce|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Western North American Naturalist|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Southwest Biological Science Center|