Mitchell's Rainforest Snail Thersites mitchellae Recovery Plan

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, July 2001
ISBN 0 731 6298 5

12.0 Recovery actions

Recovery actions to be undertaken over the next five years to achieve the identified specific recovery objectives are listed below. Linkages with specific objectives and performance criteria are identified for each action.

12.1 Survey and research

  1. Scientific survey of areas of high potential habitat for Mitchell's Rainforest Snail on the coastal plain to identify additional populations. (Objective 2 / Performance criterion 2).
  2. Scientific survey of Wilsons River area and other foothills localities to investigate whether distribution of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail extends outside the coastal plain. (Objective 2 / Performance criterion 2).
  3. Research into the ecology and lifecycle of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail relevant to the conservation of the species is supported. This will include support for research into the potential impacts on Mitchell's Rainforest Snail of predation by the introduced Black Rat Rattus rattus. (Objectives 1-4 / Performance criteria 1-4).
  4. Long-term monitoring every second year established at selected Mitchell's Rainforest Snail sites to identify any changes in the status of the species. (Objectives 3 and 4 / Performance criteria 3 and 4).
  5. Genetics research undertaken to examine the level of variation within and between populations of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail. This will provide important information on the effects of fragmentation, inbreeding and other data relevant to the management and recovery of the species. (Objectives 3 and 4 / Performance criteria 3 and 4).
  6. Research and field survey projects involving Mitchell's Rainforest Snail requiring licensing under the TSC Act will be required to observe the guidelines provided in Appendix 3, to ensure that the work undertaken does not further threaten the survival of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail or a population of the species. (Objectives 3 and 4 / Performance criteria 3 and 4).

Outcome

Increased knowledge of current distribution of habitat and populations of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail, monitoring of species' status and collection of additional information to assist in the conservation and management of the species. Note: Actions 1 to 5 may be undertaken in coordination as a single project.

12.2 Protection of extant populations and habitat

  1. State and local government authorities and community groups with responsibilities relevant to the protection of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail and its habitat will be made aware and kept informed by the NPWS of the species' conservation requirements and the location of known populations and potential habitat. Relevant authorities are identified in Table 3. (Objective 4 / Performance criterion 4).
  2. NPWS will work in cooperation with Tweed, Byron and Ballina Shire Councils to produce maps showing areas of potential habitat for Mitchell's Rainforest Snail to assist with land management and environmental planning and assessment matters. Map derivation is to include occurrence of lowland floodplain rainforest and swamp sclerophyll forest remnants, coastal wetlands, basaltic-derived alluvium, and recent records and historical distribution of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail. (Objectives 1, 2 and 4 / Performance criteria 1, 2 and 4).
  3. It is unlikely that the above mapping will identify all areas of potential habitat, particularly small areas of habitat. Recommendation will be made by the NPWS that identified potential habitat (action 8 above), all lowland rainforest and swamp sclerophyll forest remnants and vegetated areas within 50 m of SEPP No. 14 Coastal Wetlands in Tweed, Byron and Ballina Shires be protected from clearing or development in the relevant Local Environmental Plans and Regional Vegetation Management Plans. (Objectives 1 and 4 / Performance criteria 1 and 4).
  4. Identification and declaration of habitat for Mitchell's Rainforest Snail in Stotts Island Nature Reserve as critical habitat under the TSC Act. (Objective 3 / Performance criterion 3).
  5. Assessment of areas of habitat for Mitchell's Rainforest Snail additional to Stotts Island for identification as critical habitat under the TSC Act. (Objectives 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 4 and 5).
  6. Implementation of management measures as appropriate to control identified threats to Mitchell's Rainforest Snail in Stotts Island Nature Reserve and maintain viability of the population. (Objective 3 / Performance criterion 3).
  7. NPWS will support weed control work in lowland rainforest and swamp sclerophyll forest remnants on basaltic soils in the Tweed, Byron and Ballina Shires, and will recommend that such weed control work be undertaken in a manner which minimises disturbance to the habitat of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail, including maintaining a moist microclimate and minimising disturbance to the leaf litter layer and fallen logs. (Objectives 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 4 and 5).

Outcome

Increased protection of extant populations and habitat and conservation of other biodiversity elements that share lowland rainforests with Mitchell's Rainforest Snail.

12.3 Commonwealth listing

  1. Nomination of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail as an endangered species under the Commonwealth EPBC Act. (Objectives 3-5 / Performance criteria 3-5).

Outcome

Recognition at national level of the conservation status of the species.

12.4 Community awareness and involvement

  1. Preparation and distribution of a community awareness brochure with the following components:
    • promoting Mitchell's Rainforest Snail as a flagship for invertebrate conservation, to raise the profile of invertebrate conservation issues in the general community,
    • providing information concerning the status, identification and habitat of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail, threats to the species and how the community can assist in its recovery, and
    • providing information regarding the value and management of small lowland rainforest remnants in the Tweed, Byron and Ballina Shires as potential habitat for Mitchell's Rainforest Snail and other species. (Objectives 1, 2, 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 1, 2, 4 and 5).
  2. Preparation and distribution of a school teacher's kit in cooperation with the Department of Education and Training, targeting schools in the Tweed, Byron and Ballina Shires. The kit is to provide information concerning Mitchell's Rainforest Snail and other local native land snails to promote awareness of invertebrate conservation and the value of small urban habitat areas and is to be designed to be used in relation to relevant school syllabus topics in a local context. (Objectives 2, 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 2, 4 and 5).
  3. High profile media publicity concerning Mitchell's Rainforest Snail and its conservation and recovery will be sought over the life of the recovery plan. (Objectives 1, 2, 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 1, 2, 4 and 5).
  4. NPWS will support appropriate community-based initiatives to develop interpretive material to promote community awareness of the status of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail with components similar to those listed for action 15 above. This is to include appropriate initiatives in the Cumbebin Wetland area at Byron Bay. (Objectives 1, 2, 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 1, 2, 4 and 5).
  5. NPWS will liaise with the Australian Museum on a minimum six monthly basis to assist the Museum in maintaining up to date information concerning Mitchell's Rainforest Snail on the Museum's invertebrate zoology internet web site. (Objectives 1, 2, 4 and 5 / Performance criteria 1, 2, 4 and 5).

Outcome

Increased community awareness of Mitchell's Rainforest Snail and community involvement in its conservation and recovery, and increased community awareness of broader invertebrate conservation issues.