Oreohelix sp. 11
Subcarinate Mountainsnail
Taxonomic Status: Provisionally accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.115613
Element Code: IMGASB5610
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Mollusks - Terrestrial Snails
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Stylommatophora Oreohelicidae Oreohelix
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frest, T.J. and E.J. Johannes. 1995c. Interior Columbia Basin mollusk species of special concern. Final Report (contract #43-0E00-4-9112) prepared for Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Deixis Consultants, Seattle, Washington. 274 pp. + tabs., figs.
Concept Reference Code: U95FRE03EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Oreohelix sp. 11
Taxonomic Comments: Member of OREOHELIX STRIGOSA complex (Frest and Johannes, 1995). Distribution in Mission Canyon, Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness, Lake Co., Montana.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 08Oct2002
Global Status Last Changed: 08Oct2002
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (22Nov2004)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Montana (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Extent of original and current range not completely known. Thought to occur in approximately three original sites in Mission Canyon, Mission Range, Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness, Lake County, Montana (Frest and Johannes, 1995). Frest and Johannes (1995) state that the species probably occurrs at one or two of the original sites and may occurr in adjacent segments of the Flathead National Forest.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: The major threat is logging, which has been extensive throughout the established habitat within the Mission Range (Frest and Johannes, 1995).

Short-term Trend Comments: Population trends appear to be downward (Frest and Johannes, 1995).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Extent of original and current range not completely known. Thought to occur in approximately three original sites in Mission Canyon, Mission Range, Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness, Lake County, Montana (Frest and Johannes, 1995). Frest and Johannes (1995) state that the species probably occurrs at one or two of the original sites and may occurr in adjacent segments of the Flathead National Forest.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States MT

Range Map
No map available.

Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A relatively large land snail
General Description: The shell is relatively large for the genus with 4.5-5 whorls and, typically, a roughly textured surface (Frest and Johannes, 1995).
Ecology Comments: Ocurs in monospecific colonies and is moderately mesophilic, but "persistence of moisture is a desideratum" (Frest and Johannes, 1995).
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Found in the valleys of PINUS PONDEROSA forests which exhibit diverse flora and relatively moist conditions. Examples of preferred habitat are moist valleys, ravines, gorges, talus slope bases, or other sites of moderate elevation near persistent water (Frest and Johannes, 1995).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Terrestrial Snails

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on some evidence of historical or current presence of single or multiple specimens, including live specimens or recently dead shells (i.e., soft tissue still attached without signs of external weathering or staining), at a given location with potentially recurring existence. Weathered shells constitute a historic occurrence. Evidence is derived from reliable published observation or collection data; unpublished, though documented (i.e. government or agency reports, web sites, etc.) observation or collection data; or museum specimen information.
Separation Barriers: Barriers include barriers to dispersal such as the presence of permanent water bodies greater than 30 m in width, permanently frozen areas (e.g. mountaintop glaciers) which generally lack land snails (Frest and Johannes, 1995), or dry, xeric areas with less than six inches precipitation annually, as moisture is required for respiration and often hatching of eggs. For the various slugs and slug-like species (families Arionidae, Philomycidae, Limacidae, Milacidae, Testacellidae, Veronicellidae), absence of suitable moisture, except for the most ubiquitous of species such as Deroceras reticulatum (Müller, 1774), can serve as a barrier to movement (Frest and Johannes, 1995). Members of these groups tend to have greater difficulty crossing areas of little moisture than other pulmonates. For tree snails (family Bulimulidae [= Orthalicidae]), lack of appropriate arboreal habitat (e.g. distance of greater than 500 m) also serves as a separation barrier.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 1 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: None
Separation Justification: Burch and Pearce (1990) suggest refuges may be the most important factor limiting terrestrial snail abundance, although the greatest richness of species among carbonate cliff habitats (one of the most diverse in North America) is associated with calcareous, as opposed to acidic, substrates (Nekola, 1999; Nekola and Smith, 1999). The panmictic unit (a local population in which matings are random) is small relative to those of other animal groups because terrestrial snails tend to be more sedentary. Baker (1958) claimed, "long-distance dispersal of terrestrial gastropods is undoubtedly passive" although short distance dispersal is active involving slow, short distance migration under favorable conditions. Long-distance passive migration is not considered when assigning separation distances, as otherwise separation distances for many animals and plants would be made impracticably large. Passive migration of snails on terrestrial mammals, birds, or insects may occur over longer distances may occur across barriers. Passive migration also may occur by wind or by rafting on floating objects (Vagvolgyi, 1975). A third form of passive migration may occur through human activity such as transport as food, with consumed goods, or for biological control of other organisms.

Terrestrial gastropods do not move much usually only to find food or reproduce. Olfaction is the primary sensory behavior utilized to find and move toward a food item (on the scale of cm to m) although Atkinson (2003) found that Anguispira alternata was capable of switching foraging behavior when snails encountered a physical barrier to movement. Fisher et al (1980) reported maximum movement rate of Rumina decollata (Linnaeus, 1758), an introduced pest species in California spreading relatively rapidly (for a snail), to be 20 m in three months (= 6.67 m/month) in an irrigated orchard. Tupen and Roth (2001) reported the movement rate for the same species in an un-irrigated native scrub on San Nicolas Island to be 0.4 km in 12 years (= 33.33 m/month). South (1965) found in dispersal studies of the slug, Deroceras reticulatum, that slugs traveled a mean distance of 1.13 m in seven days indicating this species disperses little throughout its life. Giokas and Mylonas (2004) found mean dispersal and minimal movement distances were very small (16.2 and 5.4 m, respectively) for Albinaria coerulea, with few individuals dispersing longer distances. Even the most extreme dispersal distances, such as 500 m for the giant African land snail Achatina fulica (Tomiyama and Nakane, 1993), do not approach the scale of km. Viable land snail populations generally occupy small areas. Frest and Johannes (1995) report the largest Oreohelix colony they observed was one mile (1.67 km) long and 0.25 miles (0.41 km) wide while the smallest was six feet (183 cm) long and two feet (61 cm) wide.

As a whole, pulmonates (previously Subclass Pulmonata) are better dispersers than prosobranchs (previously Subclass Prosobranchia) possibly due to their hermaphroditic reproduction increasing the chance of new colonization (Pilsbry, 1948). When compared with prosobranch families, pulmonates generally reproduce at smaller sizes and sooner, produce greater numbers of eggs/young, have larger clutch sizes, greater growth rates, and shorter life cycles (Brown, 1991). Further, prosobranchs' requirement of constant moisture for oxygen exchange limits their ability to colonize drier habitats. Suitable habitat for pulmonate groups tends to be more varied and less restrictive than for prosobranch groups. All of these factors contribute to pulmonates greater dispersal capability over prosobranchs, as evidenced by the wider and more varied distribution of pulmonates over prosobranchs. Despite this, separation distance for both groups is set at the minimum one km as most movements are well within this suggested minimum separation distance.

Date: 26May2004
Author: Cordeiro, J.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 05Mar1996
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Steiner, M.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 05Mar1996
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): STEINER, M.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Frest, T.J. and E.J. Johannes. 1995c. Interior Columbia Basin mollusk species of special concern. Final Report (contract #43-0E00-4-9112) prepared for Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Deixis Consultants, Seattle, Washington. 274 pp. + tabs., figs.

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