Published since 1946
RCN Project Provides Species Profiles for More than 300 Species of Land Snails in the Northeast
In the Northeast United States, there are 245 species of land snails, and many of these are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the northeastern State Wildlife Action Plans. However, data is lacking on the snails that states could use to conserve the species. This data gap was addressed through a recent Regional Conservation Needs Grant (RCN) to Appalachian Conservation Biology. The completed project added information on northeastern land snails to the existing Land Snails and Slugs of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States website hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. More than 300 species profiles for the region were added to the site, including specimen records and regional maps for each profile.
Land snails are important to ecosystems, playing critical roles in organic material cycling, soil creation, energy, and nutrient movement throughout food chains, and hosting major wildlife parasites. Wildlife conservationists should have the information about native and invasive land snails in their regions, to fully preserve the functioning of the ecosystems they work to protect. Additionally, a better understanding of land snail species ecology and distribution can help minimize additional listings under the federal Endangered Species Act.
With funding from the RCN grants program, Appalachian Conservation Biology upgraded the website and added content. Range maps were added for 11 northeastern states. All snail species profiles were cross-linked with the species profiles in the state species lists from State Wildlife Action Plans. The snail identification key includes all regional species. Illustrations, a glossary and a key were also added for the regional species.