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
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Conservation Advice].
 
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, a regional multi-species recovery plan incorporates this species and it is likely to be extinct on Norfolk Island, but may survive on Phillip Island. 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].
 
Information Sheets What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2004i) [Information Sheet].
 
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].
 
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Extinct (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Quintalia stoddartii [81253]
Family Helicarionidae:Pulmonata:Gastropoda:Mollusca:Animalia
Species author Gray, 1834
Infraspecies author  
Reference D. Neuweger, P. White & W.F. Ponder (2001). Land Snails from Norfolk Island Sites in Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 27: 115-122
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

Scientific name: Quintalia stoddartii

Common name: Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail

Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail is conventionally accepted and was described by Hyman (2005) but has yet to be formally published.

There are three subspecies of Quintalia stoddartii (TSSC 2008aep):

  • Q. s. stoddartii which is known from Phillip Island.
  • Q. s. flosculus which is known from Norfolk Island.
  • Q. s. intermedia which is known from subfossils on Nepean Island and is now extinct.

The listing of Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail under the EPBC Act encompasses Q. s. stoddartii and Q. s. flosculus (TSSC 2008aep).

Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail is a small land snail which is usually orange-brown to fawn coloured. It has an imperforate, depressed conic shell, that is typically 14 mm in diameter and 8 mm high (Iredale 1944; Varman 1991).

Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail is likely to be extinct on Norfolk Island, but may survive on Phillip Island (TSSC 2008aep). However, a study by Neuweger and colleagues (2001) suggested that 27 samples of the species had been collected in a 1996–1997 survey. In this survey, samples were collected from rainforest, mixed pine and pine forest sites (Neuweger et al. 2001).

Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail occurs in the Territory of Norfolk Island, which is 1700 km north-east of Sydney in the South Pacific Ocean. The Territory includes Norfolk Island, which is approximately 35 km², as well as Nepean and Phillip Islands, which are smaller, uninhabited islands to the south of Norfolk Island (DEH 2000). The islands are volcanic in origin, formed by masses of basalt which arose from the ocean floor, a process which began about 3 million years ago and occurred for over 700 000 years. With the passage of time, the islands have been colonised by plants and animals (TSSC 2008aep).

Phillip Island lies approximately 7 km south of Norfolk Island and is approximately 4 km². The vegetation on the island has been severely degraded by the grazing of pigs (Sus scrofa), goats (Capra hircus) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus): these animals were released for food and sport during early colonisation of the islands by Europeans. Pigs and goats were removed in the early 20th century, but rabbits were not removed until 1988 (TSSC 2008aep). Whilst these pest species have been removed, Phillip Island remains a highly degraded habitat, and the recovery of native vegetation is threatened by invasive weed species which have become established on the island, including the African Olive (Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata) (DEH 2000). Rats, which are a threat to snail species on Norfolk Island, do not currently occur on Phillip Island, however, there is a possibility that they could disperse to Phillip Island via a boat.

A total of 18 non-fossil specimens of Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail have been collected from Norfolk Island, and a further two have been collected from Phillip Island. The most recent collection from Norfolk Island was made in 1912, and no specimens from Phillip Island have been collected since the type specimens were collected in or before 1834 (Hyman 2005). Given that there has been an overall increase in collecting activity of native land snails on Norfolk Island over the past century, it is possible that Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail is extinct (TSSC 2008aep).

However, a snail specimen collected from Phillip Island in 1997 has been tentatively identified as being Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail by a relevant expert, though this specimen has not been formally identified or lodged in a museum. As very little survey work has been undertaken on Phillip Island, there is a chance the species survives there. While there remains reasonable doubt that the last Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail has died, the species is not recommended for listing as extinct at this time (TSSC 2008aep).

While Stoddart's Helicarionid Snail is common in fossil records, no official specimens of the species have been collected since 1912, which suggests that the species has undergone a reduction in numbers. This is likely to be due to habitat clearance following European settlement of Norfolk Island and habitat degradation caused by the introduction of several invasive species of plants and animals, including rats (Rattus spp.) to Norfolk Island and pigs, goats and rabbits to Phillip Island (TSSC 2008aep).

Norfolk Island has been intermittently occupied by various settlers who have dramatically altered the environment, predominantly by land clearing for agriculture and housing (DEH 2000). Approximately 80% of the original vegetation has been cleared, and the invasion of remnants by weed species has been extensive. Much of the Norfolk Island landscape has been transformed from a densely vegetated sub-tropical island to a highly modified pastoral landscape characterised by grazed kikuyu pastures bordered by remnant woodland (DEH 2000; 2004i). Similarly, almost all of the vegetation on Philip Island was destroyed during the mid-20th century (TSSC 2008aep).

Little is known of the biology/ecology of this species. The generation length of Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail is not known (TSSC 2008aep).

The key historical threat to Stoddart's Helicarionid Snail was predation by introduced rats. The Polynesian Rat (Rattus exulans) is presumed to have been introduced by Polynesian visitors to Norfolk Island. The Ship Rat (Rattus rattus) was introduced later, possibly around 1943 (DEH 2000). Both species are likely to have caused a decline in the numbers of Stoddart's Helicarionid Snail by direct predation. An extensive rat control program has been operating on Norfolk Island since 1992, however, Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail has only been recorded on Phillip Island in the last 100 years, so it is unlikely to benefit from this program. Rats do not currently occur on Phillip Island, however, it is possible that they could disperse to Phillip Island via a boat (TSSC 2008aep).

A further historical threat to the species, with ongoing effects, was the destruction of vegetation on Phillip Island by the grazing of pigs, goats and rabbits. While these animals are no longer present on Phillip Island, the landscape has suffered severe soil erosion and of the few of the plants that survived, many are introduced weeds. Phillip Island continues to be a highly degraded habitat, though programs to control weeds, re-establish native vegetation and protect rare plants and animals have been undertaken by Parks Australia since 1978. This degradation and associated soil erosion is likely to have drastically altered the habitat available to Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail, and caused a decline in the species' numbers (TSSC 2008aep).

The species' available habitat is also likely to be declining in quality due to the presence of weed species on Norfolk Island. Over 200 species of introduced vascular plants have been recorded on Norfolk Island, including Lantana (Lantana camara), 'William Taylor' weed (Ageratina riparia) and Wild Tobacco (Solanum auriculatum) (Hyman 2005). Parks Australia has been implementing a weed control program involving the broad scale treatment and rehabilitation of weed infested areas, however it is likely that the habitat of Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail remains threatened as weed control is not undertaken across the entire former range of the species (TSSC 2008aep).

Land clearance is likely to have drastically altered habitat available to Stoddart's Helicarionid Snail, and caused a decline in the species' numbers. Land clearance since European settlement has been extensive on Norfolk Island, with approximately 80% of the original vegetation having been cleared for agriculture and housing (DEH 2004i).

Minister's reasons for recovery plan decision

A regional multi-species recovery plan incorporates this species and it is likely to be extinct on Norfolk Island, but may survive on Phillip Island. 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.

Other recovery actions

The Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (TSSC 2008aek) outlines priority actions including:

  • Survey to identify locations of current populations of the subspecies.
  • Monitor and assess the efficiency of management.
  • Investigate the impacts of rodent eradication methods on non-target species and other environmental impacts.
  • Identify known sites of high conservation priority.
  • Protect areas of native vegetation, that contain populations of the species or which could support populations in the future.
  • Revegetate key areas.
  • Raise awareness of the species within the local community.
  • Investigate and, if appropriate, undertake a captive breeding program that could potentially lead to the establishment of additional populations of the subspecies in the wild.

Documents that may assist in the recovery of Stoddart's Helicarionid Land Snail include the Norfolk Island Recovery Plan (in preparation), the Draft threat abatement plan to reduce the impacts of exotic rodents on biodiversity on Australian offshore islands of less than 100 000 hectares (DEWR 2008) and the Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (TSSC 2008aek).

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
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat loss, modification and/or degradation Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Habitat modification with associated erosion Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Ageratina riparia (Mistflower, Mist Flower, Creeping Croftonweed, River Eupatorium, Spreading Mistflower) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Lantana camara (Lantana, Common Lantana, Kamara Lantana, Large-leaf Lantana, Pink Flowered Lantana, Red Flowered Lantana, Red-Flowered Sage, White Sage, Wild Sage) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Solanum mauritianum (Wild Tobacco Tree, Wild Tobacco Bush, Tobacco Tree) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus exulans (Pacific Rat, Polynesian Rat) Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by rats Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aek) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation Gallus gallus (Red Junglefowl, Domestic Fowl) Norfolk Island Region Threatened Species Recovery Plan (Director of National Parks (DNP), 2010a) [State Recovery Plan].
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 Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [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 Quintalia stoddartii (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2008aep) [Listing Advice].

Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2000). Norfolk Island National Park and Norfolk Island Botanic Garden Plans of Management. Canberra, ACT: DEH.

Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2004i). What the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) means for Norfolk Islanders. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/norfolk-island/pubs/norfolk-island.pdf.

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.

Hyman, I. (2005). Taxonomy, systematics and evolutionary trends in Helicarionida (Mollusca, Pulmonata). Page(s) 1-583. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Sydney.

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

Neuweger, D., P. White & W.F. Ponder (2001). Land snails from Norfolk Island sites. Atholl Anderson and Peter White, eds. The Prehistoric Archaeology of Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum. 27:115-122. Sydney: Australian Museum.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008aek). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Quintalia stoddartii. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/81253-conservation-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2008aep). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Quintalia stoddartii. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/81253-listing-advice.pdf.

Varman, R.V.J.P. (1991). Conchological Survey 1983-90: Manuscript of Land Mollusca Fossiliferous and Present Day. Unpublished manuscript.

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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). Quintalia stoddartii in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:41:41 +1000.