TWO MORE: A pair of the critically endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snail has been found at Lennox Head, making a total of three found in six months.
TWO MORE: A pair of the critically endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snail has been found at Lennox Head, making a total of three found in six months.

Snail find ‘significant’

IN what has been described as a ‘significant find’, two of the critically endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snails have been found at Lennox Head.

That makes three live specimens found near Ross Lane in the past six months.

A man who describes himself as a ‘bushie’, but didn’t want to be identified, has made all three finds, after first discovering a dead specimen.

Mark Robinson, who is currently conducting a survey study of the species, said the finding of three live specimens was ‘significant’.

At one point, it was believed the species may be extinct.

He said the find was even more significant as Lennox Head is at the southern extreme of the species’ known distribution. He said the snails were found from Lennox Head to the border.

But further studies would be required to confirm the extent of the population.

Mr Robinson’s 12-month study, funded by the Federal Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water, ends in autumn next year.

It has involved searching for species, recording the location of the find, weighing found specimens and making an assessment of their habitat.

The survey is being conducted in partnership with Southern Cross University and the councils of Byron, Ballina and Tweed.

Mr Robinson, who is working out of the administration office of Byron Shire Council, said the reports of the previous snail finds in the Advocate had sparked lots of response from the community.

He said many of the finds reported ended up being the Fraser land snail, rather than the endangered Mitchell’s rainforest snail.

If you think you may have found a Mitchell’s rainforest snail, phone him on 6626 7049.

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