The decline of native Pacific island faunas: changes in status of the land snails of Samoa through the 20th century

The decline of native Pacific island faunas: changes in status of the land snails of Samoa... The highly diverse and endemic Pacific island biota is disappearing and being replaced by a relatively small number of widespread alien species. The land snail fauna of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) contains at least 72 species (58 native, 10 alien, four cryptogenic—of unknown origin). In 1992–1994 we surveyed the fauna in order to evaluate its status and, by comparison with previous surveys, to detect any trends. Twelve species have declined (eight native, two cryptogenic); 17 (15 native, two cryptogenic) show a “probable decline” or “possible decline”; five (four alien, one native) have increased or possibly increased. Some species showed no clear trend; others could not be evaluated, but some of them may be extinct. The fauna faces threats similar to those faced elsewhere, primarily habitat destruction and alien species impacts. Most notable is the introduction of a predatory flatworm, Platydemus manokwari , in attempts to control the giant African snail, Achatina fulica , which became established in Samoa in the 1990s. The flatworm may or may not be able to control A. fulica but poses a serious threat to the native snail fauna. Further introduction and distribution of alien predators should be strongly discouraged. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

The decline of native Pacific island faunas: changes in status of the land snails of Samoa through the 20th century

Biological Conservation, Volume 110 (1) – Mar 1, 2003

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00176-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The highly diverse and endemic Pacific island biota is disappearing and being replaced by a relatively small number of widespread alien species. The land snail fauna of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) contains at least 72 species (58 native, 10 alien, four cryptogenic—of unknown origin). In 1992–1994 we surveyed the fauna in order to evaluate its status and, by comparison with previous surveys, to detect any trends. Twelve species have declined (eight native, two cryptogenic); 17 (15 native, two cryptogenic) show a “probable decline” or “possible decline”; five (four alien, one native) have increased or possibly increased. Some species showed no clear trend; others could not be evaluated, but some of them may be extinct. The fauna faces threats similar to those faced elsewhere, primarily habitat destruction and alien species impacts. Most notable is the introduction of a predatory flatworm, Platydemus manokwari , in attempts to control the giant African snail, Achatina fulica , which became established in Samoa in the 1990s. The flatworm may or may not be able to control A. fulica but poses a serious threat to the native snail fauna. Further introduction and distribution of alien predators should be strongly discouraged.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Mar 1, 2003

References

  • Land birds of Tuamotu Archipelago, Polynesia: relative abundance and changes during the 20th century with particular reference to the critically endangered Polynesian ground-dove ( Gallicolumba erythroptera )
    Blanvillain, C.; Florent, C.; Thenot, V.
  • Decline and homogenization of Pacific faunas
    Cowie, R.H.
  • Extinction or survival
    Cowie, R.H.; Cook, R.P.
  • Hawaii and the Pacific Islands
    Loope, L.L.
  • Consistency in hand-searching for terrestrial snails
    Ward-Booth, J.F.; Dussart, G.B.J.

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