Punctoidea snails and slugs

Application for Scientific Permit – Available for Public Comment
Public comment on the following application for a Scientific Research (Fauna) Permit is open until 4 April 2023.

Applicant: Australian Museum

Species/Taxon: land snails

Location: Mt Saddleback (State Reserve), Ben Lomond National Park, Mt Barrow Falls State Reserve, Seal Rocks State Reserve and Lavinia State Reserve (King Island), The Nut State Reserve, Central Plateau Conservation Area, Mt Field National Park, Mt Wedge (National Park and Conservation Area), Mt Dromedary Forest Reserve (Conservation Area), Lake Skinner (in Southwest National Park), Hartz Mountains National Park, MacGregor Peak (National Park), South Arm Nature Recreational Area.

Title of research: Megadiverse but tiny and overlooked: a revision of the Punctoidea snails and slugs of southern Australia (Gastropoda, Stylommatophora).

Aim of project: To carry out a taxonomic revision of the punctid, cystopeltid and selected charopid snails and slugs of Australia, using morpho-anatomy and mitochondrial DNA.

- why working on threatened species or on reserved land
- any conservation or management benefits
- any benefits to our understanding of Tasmanian ecology or human health
The group of snails and slugs that I am studying are very small in size and are generally under-represented in Museum collections, since they require specialist methods and targeted collecting. Most Museum specimens that do exist are unsuitable for dissection or DNA extraction due to their age or state of preservation. In order to carry out my revision, I need to collect fresh material, including a small number of threatened species. 

The taxonomic revisions that I will produce will clarify phylogenetic relationships, confirm identity and species boundaries, and include detailed distribution maps. This taxonomic revision underpins conservation work and will allow conservation listings to be updated.
Most of the Tasmanian members of this group are known only from brief descriptions and lack live images. Many are still not formally described. My work will allow me to document these species, describe that are still unnamed, and publish live images, shell photographs, descriptions and molecular phylogenies showing their relationships. This will greatly increase our understanding of Tasmania’s land snail fauna.

Maximum likely numbers of individuals involved: Collection and disturbance of non-threatened invertebrates will be kept to a minimum and will not result in a significant decline of invertebrate species at each collection location. Collection may involve a single specimen, or a short series of specimens (to a maximum of 20 individuals), of a nonthreatened invertebrate species at each location (locations will be a minimum of 500 m apart). This is in line with the policies and permit conditions of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Threatened species would normally be captured for identification purposes only and then released. However, in order that I can include these species in my study, I request permission to collect a maximum of 2 specimens of each threatened species per location for studies of anatomy and DNA extraction. Following identification, any threatened species will be lodged at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Threatened Species & Private Land Conservation Section, NRET will be notified at ThreatenedSpecies.Enquiries@nret.gov.au.

Activities undertaken and methods: We will be primarily hand-collecting but will also collect and sort small bags of leaf litter under microscopes. 

Fate of animals: euthanised, preserved in ethanol and lodged in the collections of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Australian Museum.

Likely impact on species involved (including any by-catch):
Minimal, due to the small number of specimens being collected.


Scientific Research Permits
Environment Division
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7000
Email: Scientific.Permits@nre.tas.gov.au