Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the Mascarenes where it occurs off the coasts of the islands of Mauritius and Réunion, in the western Indian Ocean, at depths of 25-100 m (Röckel et al. 1995). Its AOO is estimated as 560 km2.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species has been described as living on reef rubble, and under rocks by shell collector websites (http://pw1.netcom.com; www.shellauction.net), at depths of 25-100 m (Röckel et al. 1995).

The shells of adult specimens of this species are typically between 42 - 62 mm in length (Röckel et al. 1995). The larval shell is planktonic, suggesting that the species may be wider spread than is currently known or may in the past have been more widely spread (G. Raybaudi pers. comm. October 2011).

Systems
  • Marine
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
B1ab(v)+2ab(v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Raybaudi-Massilia, G.

Reviewer/s
Veldsman, S.G. & Peters, H.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is endemic to the Mascarenes where it occurs off the coasts of the islands of Mauritius and Réunion. This species has a restricted range and is inherently rare in nature. There are indications that it has become rarer in the recent past, although this needs to be verified; however, it occurs in only two islands, with less than ten locations (assuming black market collection as a main threat), and although the main threat of overcollection may be now less important due to strict protection of the waters off these islands, black market collecting may still occur for this highly priced shell. Furthermore its rarity may make it more vulnerable to future extreme weather events. It is listed as Vulnerable under criterion B with a observed decline in mature individuals inferred from less frequent occurrence in shell market. This may also be a consequence of increased protection, but we here use a precautionary approach for this very rare species, unless we can prove otherwise.
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Population

Population
There are no population data for this species in the literature. This is an inherently rare species and it is unclear whether there has been a decline in its population. It has become rarer in the market, but this may be partially due to the protection afforded to the species in Réunion and Mauritius waters via marine protected areas, but may also be an indication of a population decline (G. Raybaudi and S. Veldsman pers. comm. October 2011).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Overcollection has been a threat in the past, and some black market activity may still be occurring, as this is a highly priced shell. It may be possible that populations have recently declined as the species has become rare in the market, after already being an inherently rare species. Because of its rarity and effects of collecting, and its restricted range, this will make it more susceptible to future severe weather effects.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are several marine protected areas and marine reserves within this species geographical range (protectedplanet.net). In Mauritius, all waters are now protected, so there is no collection of specimens in the area, and similar protection is now afforded to large areas of Réunion's waters, with collection strictly controlled.
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Wikipedia

Conus julii

Conus julii is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Conidae, the cone snails and their allies.[1]

Like all species within the genus Conus, these snails are predatory and venomous. They are capable of "stinging" humans, therefore live ones should be handled carefully or not at all.

Contents

Description

Distribution

References

  1. ^ Conus julii Lienard, 1870.  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 27 March 2010.
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