Snail (Trachycystis haygarthi)
Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List 2006 (1).
This rare, pale-coloured snail is probably most notable for its highly distinctive whitish shell, with a conspicuous chestnut-brown border to the outer edge of each whorl creating a bold spiral pattern. The creamy-white foot is semi translucent with brownish-grey colouring towards the front of the upper-surface, and the tentacles are grey.
This South African endemic is known only from two small forests, Nkandla and Entumeni, KwaZulu-Natal, which are separated by only 35 km (1).
Found in mist-belt Podocarpus and scarp forest (1).
Nothing is known of this snail’s social, reproductive or feeding behaviour.
Despite formal protection, the remote, rural forests in which this snail is found continue to be used by local people and their livestock, and this disturbance threatens to destroy and degrade critical habitat for this species (1).
Both forests are formerly conserved areas under the control of KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, and as such, are afford a degree of protection. However, the actual levels of protection provided on the ground are limited, particularly in the case of Nkandla Forest, and local communities may be having a detrimental impact on these forests and the wildlife they support (1).
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- Endemic: a species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Whorl: in animals,a spiral or convolution in the shell of a snail.
IUCN Red List (December, 2009)