Ongoing conservation efforts to protect the Foushee cavesnail, Amnicola cora (Hydrobiidae)

M. E. Slay, Steven J. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review

Abstract

The Foushee cavesnail, Amnicola cora Hubricht 1979 (Gastropoda: Neotaenioglossa: Hydrobiidae), is a single-site endemic stygobiont found in Foushee Cave, Independence Co., Arkansas. Because little information was available concerning this species, a project was initiated in 2007 to establish baseline data on habitat use and population size. Sampling trips occurred during late spring and summer months to minimize disturbance to hibernating gray bats (Myotis griscesens) and at monthly intervals to minimize in-stream trampling of cavesnails. We established 25 sampling locations along the first ~1,000 m of cave stream and counted snails that occurred within a 0.05 m2 quadrat placed haphazardly at each location. To characterize habitat use, we quantified snail position on substrate and measured water depth, flow, and substrate proportions. Sampling occurred during 3 visits in 2007 and 3 visits in 2011. The quadrat census project spurred additional conservation efforts by several Arkansas state agencies. The potential for groundwater impacts to the cave system was assessed with funding from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and this funding was used to delineate the recharge boundary, characterize vulnerability, and document point hazards. Following the recharge delineation, a landowner parcel assessment was conducted to determine number and size of parcels that overlay the cave system. This information was then used by Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission to identify landowners interested in selling property and several land acquisitions are now in progress. Following these acquisitions, over 80% of land recharging groundwater to Foushee Cave will be part of a new Arkansas state natural area.;
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • INHS

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