Attention: Researchers, environmental consultants and land managers

NSW DPI is undertaking a recovery program to protect two critically endangered species of freshwater snail; Hanley’s River Snail (Notopala hanleyi) and the Darling River Snail (Notopala sublineata).

Notopala hanleyi (Hanley's River Snail)

Researchers, environmental consultants and land managers or anyone who regularly undertakes fieldwork or is out and about in the environment in western NSW on a regular basis is encouraged to keep an eye out for freshwater aquatic snails. If you catch or see a snail that you think could possibly be the critically endangered Darling or Hanley’s River Snail, please take a photo, record the details of the location and send the information to the NSW DPI Threatened Species Section by emailing: fisheries.threatenedspecies@dpi.nsw.gov.au or completing the online report form: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/ species-protection/report-it

Side photo of Notopala sublineata (Darling River Snail)

Hanley’s River Snail was once common and widespread in the Murray River catchment, including the Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Rivers. The Darling River Snail was once common in the Darling River and its tributaries.

The Darling and Hanley’s River Snail are medium-sized (20-25 mm), similar looking snails having a round shell that ends in a conical spire. Shell colouration is variable but the outer shell is generally dark green but may also be greenish brown or dark brown, without banding. The body is similar to other snails but possesses a prominent snout and short eye stalks on the outside of the tentacles.

The species once occurred in flowing, well-oxygenated waters throughout the Murray Darling Basin.  Artificially introduced hard surfaces now provide habitat for the species with populations being recorded as surviving in and around rock weirs, irrigation pipelines and settlement tanks.

A key action of the recovery program for Hanley’s and the Darling River Snail is to undertake widespread surveys for the species in natural and artificial habitats. There have been very few recent records of both species in the last few years.

For more information: contact the NSW DPI Threatened Species Section: email fisheries.threatenedspecies@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Thank you for your assistance.