Coordinator Login

Unique fluorescent slug survives bushfires

Date: 11-Feb-20
Author: Liam Taylor

Park rangers have confirmed that the brightly-coloured Mount Kaputar slug has survived the bushfires.

Park rangers have confirmed that the brightly-coloured Mount Kaputar slug has survived the bushfires.

The bright-pink Mount Kaputar slug, found only on the mountain itself, has been spotted by rangers after bushfires ravaged much of its habitat. 

The Triboniophorus aff. Graeffei is a giant species of air-breathing land slug notable for its unique bright pink colouring. The slugs have only been found at an altitude of around 1,500 metres at the top of Mount Kaputar, an extinct volcano in northern New South Wales near Narrabri. Home to an additional 20 species of snails and slugs not found elsewhere in the world, the area was identified as the first endangered ecological community in Australia.

After bushfires burnt in the Mount Kaputar National Park for a period of more than six weeks between October and December 2019, conservationists were concerned the species might have been wiped out. While around 90% of the population is believed to have perished, National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers were thrilled to spot around 60 of the hot pink slugs following rainfall in late January.

Experts believe the fluorescent slugs must have retreated into rock crevices during the fires to survive the heat and are now emerging to take advantage of newly growing moss and fungi following the rain. Australian Museum malacologist Frank Köhler told The Guardian that despite the devastation of the fires, the population of Mount Kaputar slug should rebound quickly, which is lucky given their importance to the local ecosystem.

“[Snails and slugs] are the foundation of all our ecosystems. They are the foundation food source for many mammals and birds,” Köhler said.

 

Positive Action

 

Subscribe to Positive Environment News
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

 




Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.



Related News: