Pacific Ocean_Admiralty Is. (Manus Is.)
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Data Deficient (DD)
- 1994Rare (R)
- 1990Rare (R)
- 1988Rare (R)
- 1986Rare (R)
- 1983Rare (R)
Date Listed: 06/02/1970
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10)
Where Listed: Entire
Population location: Entire
Listing status: E
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Papustyla pulcherrima , see its USFWS Species Profile
Harvest occurs when trees are felled as part of traditional shifting cultivation and the snails, typically found in the canopy, suddenly become exposed. Such harvesting is not uncommon but it is likely to be of lower significance than the longer term habitat degradation caused by such agricultural practices.
While harvest for illicit international trade is occurring, the volumes are not thought to be large compared to historic rates, although they may approach levels seen in the legal domestic trade. However, given that the prices of shells internationally are often orders of magnitude greater than market prices on Manus Island, vigilance will be required to insure that illegal international demand does not fuel a resurgence in snail collection.
Notable deposits of gold have been found in central Manus and a mine operation will likely result in the next decade although no details of the plan have been released (as of 2014).
The forests of Manus Island were badly affected by the 1997-1998 El Nio which resulted in a prolonged drought. Should climatic change result in increased rates of similar conditions this may constitute a future threat to the snail species, however, current predictions suggest that future incidence of drought in Papua New Guinea will decrease (Australian Bureau of Metrology and CSIRO 2011).
Emerald green snail
The emerald green snail, green tree snail, or Manus green tree snail, scientific name Papustyla pulcherrima, sometimes listed as Papuina pulcherrima, is a species of large, air-breathing tree snail, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Camaenidae.
The shells of this species were in demand for making jewelry, and were popular with shell collectors and partly as a result of this, the species is now endangered.
Distribution and habitat
The shell of this species is a vivid green color, which is unusual in snails. The green color is however not within the solid, calcium carbonate part of the shell but instead it is a very thin protein layer known as the periostracum. Under the periostracum the shell is yellow.
Overharvesting of the species for commercial purposes led to a decline in the population of this snail. Logging of the rain forest where this species lives is also a serious threat to its survival.
The snail and its shell are protected under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and the species is listed in the IUCN Red List as a species on which data are deficient.
Papustyla pulcherrima is the only foreign gastropod species that is listed as Federally Endangered in the United States since 2 June 1970.
- Mollusc Specialist Group 1996. Papustyla pulcherrima. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 July 2013.
- CITES species database. Accessed 20 July 2013
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Last updated 5 January 2010). Species Profile for Manus Island Tree snail (Papustyla pulcherrima)." U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website. Accessed 6 January 2010.
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