Dr. Rob Dillon, Coordinator

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Documenting the Downward Spiral

We were pleased to receive email notification late last week that the proceedings of the Vienna Symposium on Molluscan Biodiversity and Conservation have found their way to press. The table of contents is available as a PDF download from the FWGNA web site:
  • Journal of Conchology Special Publication No. 3 [PDF]
Longtime members of this list may remember that I offered a report on the Vienna Symposium upon my return in September 2001. Although the original symposium did not include any talk specifically dealing with freshwater gastropods, the recently published volume features a paper on the Lake Tanganyika gastropod fauna by Todd and colleagues. It is available as a special publication of the Journal of Conchology, contact Dr. Mary Seddon for the details: Mary.Seddon@nmgw.ac.uk

I do think we've seen increased awareness of molluscan conservation issues in recent years. In fact, I personally have a hard time keeping track of all the books, articles, and other resources documenting the downward spiral. Herewith is a brief bibliography:
  • Lydeard, C. et al. (2004) The global decline of nonmarine mollusks. BioScience 54: 321 - 330. Chuck Lydeard is joined by a gang of 15 coauthors in this general review featuring three "highlighted faunas:" Pacific land snails, unionoid mussels, and spring snails of the Australian outback, as well as conservation strategies.
  • Black, S. H., M. Shepard & M. M. Allen (2001) Endangered invertebrates: the case for greater attention to invertebrate conservation. Endangered Species Update 18: 42 - 50. Scott Hoffman Black is the executive director of the Xerces Society, an advocacy group for invertebrate conservation. One could accuse Xerces of being biased toward insects, but so was God. Scott's article does include references to freshwater mollusks, and may be available in PDF format from the Xerces web site.
  • Neves, R.J., A E. Bogan, J. D. Williams, S. A. Ahlstedt, and P. W. Hartfield (1997) Status of aquatic mollusks in the southeastern United States: A downward spiral of diversity. Chapter 3 in Aquatic Fauna in Peril: the Southeastern Perspective (Benz & Collins, eds.) Southeast Aquatic Research Institute Publication 1. This 42-page work features the most complete review of the conservation status of any regional freshwater gastropod fauna.
  • Lydeard, C. & R. L. Mayden (1995) A diverse and endangered aquatic ecosystem of the southeast United States. Conservation Biology 9: 800-805. This work includes a comprehensive review of the Mobile Basin gastropod fauna, past and present.
If anybody would like to recommend additional resources generally relevant to the conservation of freshwater gastropod faunas, by all means bring them to my attention.