Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Critically Endangered as Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
 
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi = Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afj) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, the Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan has been adopted as a recovery plan under the EPBC Act and Lord Howe Island is a current World Heritage Area. Therefore the approved conservation advice for this species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and manage key threats (19/12/2008).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of exotic rodents on biodiversity on Australian offshore islands of less than 100 000 hectares 2009 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2009u) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (64) (19/12/2008) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2008f) [Legislative Instrument] as Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178, 181 and 183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (163) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014j) [Legislative Instrument] as Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi.
 
Scientific name Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi [85279]
Family Charopidae:Pulmonata:Gastropoda:Mollusca:Animalia
Species author (Brazier, 1889)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Other names Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi [81248]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi is conventionally accepted (AFD 2013), although the original spelling of the species' name is Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi (as Helix ledgbirdi) (Brazier 1889) and should be the accepted name until an emendation occurs.

The Mount Ligdbird Charopid Snail has a small (8 mm in diameter and 6 mm in height), loosely coiled shell of few whorls with an elevated apex and a dull-grey colouration flame-marked with brown (Iredale 1944).

The genus Pseudocharopa is endemic to Lord Howe Island. Five other species of Pseudocharopa are known from the island.

The total land area of Lord Howe Island is 15.2 km². The present-day range of the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail, based on the very small number of specimens known, has apparently not contracted but numbers have decreased considerably (TSSC 2008aem).

Prior to 1945, the geographic distribution of the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail included Mount Gower, Mount Lidgbird and the Erskine Valley, which lies between the two southern mountains. However, recent survey work suggests the species' geographic distribution has declined so that it is now confined only to Mount Gower on Lord Howe Island. This area, estimated to be 400 m by 20 m (0.008 km²), represents a very restricted area of occupancy, given that the species is located on a single mountain on one small island (TSSC 2008aem).

There are insufficient quantitative data available to judge that the species has undergone a reduction in numbers. A total of 239 specimens of the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail have been collected from Lord Howe Island and lodged at the Australian Museum (one lodged at the Queensland Museum), including dead and living specimens. Collection records indicate a sharp decline in the numbers of specimens of the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail collected since 1981 (six specimens) compared to the number collected before this period (233 specimens from 1887 to 1979). Given that there has been an increase in overall snail collecting activity (predominantly dead specimens) from 1925 onwards, the decline in the number of Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snails collected suggests that the species has undergone a decline in numbers. The most recent survey, in 2002, found only two dead specimens on Mount Gower. The last live specimen was recorded in 1979 (TSSC 2008aem).

Given the contractions in already very restricted distributions, and as evidenced by the decline in specimens collected since 1979, the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail is suspected to have undergone a reduction in numbers with a continuing trend of decline.

Although the species' actual numbers are not known, it can be inferred from the decline from 233 specimens collected prior to 1980 (including the last living specimen in 1979) to six specimens collected since 1997, despite increased collection activity, that the past decline in the species' numbers is likely to have been very severe (TSSC 2008aem).

Although the generation length of the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail is not known, Placostylus species from New Zealand reach maturity at three to five years and may live for 20 years or more (Parrish et al. 1995). The habitats of these species are similar, though New Zealand Placostylus species are substantially larger (growing to heights of 115 mm compared to 6 mm for the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail). Therefore, whilst the generation length of New Zealand Placostylus species is likely to be longer, the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail is likely to be a long lived snail species (TSSC 2008aem).

As the species is severely restricted and it has a limited dispersal capability, all populations of the Mount Ligdbird Charopid Snail are important.

The Lord Howe Island Group is listed as a World Heritage Area (DEWHA undated). Whilst the Mount Ligdbird Charopid Snail is found within the reserved area in the southern half of the island, its very limited numbers and its restricted distributions make it highly vulnerable to extinction.

Little is known about the biology and ecology of this species. It was once common on the summit of Mount Lidgbird where it lived on wet rock surfaces (TSSC 2008aem).

Habitat degradation and modification
The Lord Howe Island Group was listed as World Heritage in 1982 (DEWHA undated). Much of the island is covered in rainforest, with about 10% of land area cleared, for urban development and agriculture, with a further 20% disturbed by introduced animals and exotic weeds (WWF 2001). The southern half of the island is reserved, and whilst this is where the Mount Ligdbird Charopid Snail occurs, the restricted distribution of the species makes it highly vulnerable to extinction from on-going threats or catastrophic events.

Feral animals
The key threat to the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail is predation by introduced rats. The Ship Rat (Rattus rattus), arrived on the island from a wrecked ship in 1918 and has since become well established on Lord Howe Island (NSW Scientific Committee 2000a). Ship Rats prey on snail species, and are thought to have been responsible for the significant decline in, and possible extinction of Placostylus bivaricosus etheridgei on Lord Howe Island (NSW NPWS 2001a; Ponder 1997b). Ship Rats are likely to prey on the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail, though the program of baiting of rats currently undertaken on the island is likely to benefit the species if it persists on Mount Gower. However, this baiting program is unlikely to completely mitigate the effect of predation by Ship Rats on the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail as it is not undertaken across the species' entire range. Two large species of land snails, Epiglypta howinsulae and Placostylus bivaricosus etheridgei that were restricted to the southern mountains are apparently now extinct, almost certainly due to the activity of the Ship Rat (Ponder 1997b). The New South Wales Scientific Committee has declared predation by the Ship Rat on Lord Howe Island as a key threatening process (NSW Scientific Committee 2000a).

Pigs and goats that were introduced to Lord Howe Island by settlers for food later became feral pests (DEWHA undated). Both species caused damage to the surface litter and ground cover in areas where the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail occurred, most notably the Erskine Valley and near the trail to Mt Gower (Smithers et al. 1977). It is likely that this resulted in a decline in the species' numbers. However, these pest species are no longer likely to be directly impacting on the species, as pigs have now been eliminated from the island, and goats virtually eliminated (DEWHA undated).

Another potential threat to the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail is predation and habitat disturbance by invasive ant species. The African Big Headed Ant (Pheidole megacephala) is present in the northern settlement area of Lord Howe Island and may affect the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail should it invade the area where the species occurs.

Further potential threats to the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail include introduced birds, particularly the Song Thrush (Turdus philomelas) and Common Blackbird (Turdus merula), which prey upon Placostylus species on Lord Howe Island and may prey on the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail. Although the habitat of the Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail is protected in the reserved southern area of Lord Howe Island, the species is potentially threatened by trampling, disturbance and collection by visitors, habitat damage by weeds and wildfire.

Global warming
The cloud forest on top of Mount Gower is threatened by global warming (UNESCO 2002).

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has prepared a Conservation Advice for Mount Lidgbird Charopid Snail, that identifies research and action priorities for the species. These include:

  • Research into the biology and ecology of the species.
  • Monitoring of populations in existing locations and assessing the efficiency of management.
  • Investigating and monitoring the impacts of rodent eradication methods on non-target species and other environmental impacts.
  • Implementation of the Biodiversity Management Plan of Lord Howe Island (TSSC 2008afj).

Minister's Reasons for Recovery Plan decision:

The Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan has been adopted as a recovery plan under the EPBC Act and Lord Howe Island is a current World Heritage Area. Therefore the approved conservation advice for this species provides sufficient direction to implement priority actions and manage key threats. A recovery plan is not considered to be necessary at this time.

A Biodiversity Management Plan of Lord Howe Island (DECC 2007) has been prepared and a Threat Abatement Plan to reduce the impacts of exotic rodents on biodiversity on Australian offshore islands of less than 100 000 ha (Commonwealth of Australia 2008) is in preparation.

The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has also prepared a Conservation Advice for Mount LIdgbird Charopid Snail (TSSC 2008afj).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Biological Resource Use:Hunting and Collecting Terrestrial Animals:Illegal hunting/harvesting and collection Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi = Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afj) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Soil disturbance and/or trampling due to bushwalking Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by birds Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi = Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by rats Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi = Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afj) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation Turdus merula (Common Blackbird, Eurasian Blackbird) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation Turdus philomelos (Song Thrush) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation Pheidole megacephala (Big-headed Ant, Coastal Brown Ant, Brown House Ant, Lion Ant) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Sus scrofa (Pig) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Negative impacts caused by insects Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi = Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008afj) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aem) [Listing Advice].

Australian Faunal Directory (AFD) (2013). Australian Faunal Directory. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/home.

Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (undated). Heritage Places: Lord Howe Island Group. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detailplace_id=105085.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2009u). Threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of exotic rodents on biodiversity on Australian offshore islands of less than 100 000 hectares 2009. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/exotic-rodents.html.

Iredale, T. (1944). The Land Mollusca of Lord Howe Island. Australian Zoologist. 10(3):299-330.

New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS) (2001a). Lord Howe Placostylus Placostylus bivaricosus (Gaskoin 1855) Recovery Plan. Hurstville, New South Wales: New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (NSW DECC) (2007f). Lord Howe Island Biodiversity Management Plan. [Online]. Sydney, NSW: NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/lord-howe/index.html.

NSW Scientific Committee (2000a). Predation by the ship rat on Lord Howe Island - key threatening process declaration (final determination). Predation by the ship rat on Lord Howe Island - key threatening process declaration. [Online]. Available from: http://www.threatenedspecies.environment.nsw.gov.au/tsprofile/profile.aspx?id=20019.

Parrish, R., G. Sherley & M. Aviss (1995). Giant Land Snail Recovery Plan Placostylus spp., Paraphanta sp. Threatened Species Recovery Plan Series No. 13. New Zealand: Threatened Species Unit, Department of Conservation.

Ponder, W.F. (1997b). Conservation status, threats and habitat requirements of Australian terrestrial and freshwater mollusca. Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria. 56:421-430.

Smithers, C., D. McAlpine, P. Colman & M. Gray (1977). Lord Howe Island. Special Issue of Australian Natural History. Page(s) 23-26. Sydney: The Australian Museum.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008aem). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/81248-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008afj). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Pseudocharopa lidgbirdi = Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/85279-conservation-advice.pdf.

UNESCO (2002). Australian National Periodic Report. Section II. Report on the state of conservation of Lord Howe Island. UNESCO Periodic Report 2002 (section II Lord Howe Id). 1-28. Page(s) 1-28.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (2001). Lord Howe Island subtropical forests (AA0109). Wildworld WWF Full Report. [Online]. World Wildlife Fund. Available from: http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/aa/aa0109_full.html.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Pseudocharopa ledgbirdi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:48:50 +1000.