Species Profile

Oregon Forestsnail

Scientific Name: Allogona townsendiana
Taxonomy Group: Molluscs
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: May 2013
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: This large land snail is endemic to western North America. In Canada, it occurs mainly in the Lower Fraser Valley, the most densely populated and highly fragmented region of British Columbia. It also has been found at a single site on Vancouver Island. Habitat loss due to residential and commercial development continues to fragment and isolate remaining populations.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in November 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2013.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-01-12

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Oregon Forestsnail

Oregon Forestsnail Photo 1

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Description

Oregon Forestsnail (Escargot-forestier de Townsend) is a member of a large and diverse family (Polygyridae) of North American land snails. The shell of mature individuals is pale brown or straw-yellow, round and flattened, and ranges from 28-35 mm in diameter. The apertural lip of the shell is pale and broadly expanded. Unlike some related species, the aperture (shell opening) lacks tooth-like structures (denticles). The shell is smooth and without hair-like projections as in some related snails. Relatively few native, large land snails inhabit coastal forests in British Columbia (BC). The presence of the Oregon Forestsnail in Canada is of both scientific and conservation interest, as populations at the northern limits of their geographical range might possess unique adaptations. (Updated 2017/06/12)

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Distribution and Population

Oregon Forestsnail occurs in the western Cascade Range, Puget Trough, and eastern lowlands of the Olympic Peninsula in the United States north into extreme southwestern BC. Oregon Forestsnail are found from Tsawwassen through the Lower Mainland towards Langley, with most records occurring within the Lower Fraser Valley in the Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack area, and as far east as Hope. There is one outlying site on southern Vancouver Island near Crofton. (Updated 2017/06/12)

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Habitat

Oregon Forestsnail occupies mixed-wood and deciduous forest habitat, typically dominated by Bigleaf Maple, Balsam Poplar and scattered Western Redcedar. Many records are from riparian habitats and forest edges, where dense cover of low herbaceous native vegetation is typically present. The presence of Oregon Forestsnail is correlated with the presence of Stinging Nettle, although the specific connection between these two species has not been studied. Stinging Nettle is known to have high levels of calcium, which is necessary for healthy shell growth in snails. All known Canadian Oregon Forestsnail populations are from habitats less than 360 m above sea level. (Updated 2017/06/12)

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Biology

Oregon Forestsnail is hermaphroditic. The surface activity of the snails appears to peak in spring and early summer, coinciding with mating and oviposition. They appear to be slow maturing and long-lived, reaching maturity at two years and living from five to eight years. Their dispersal ability is likely poor, based on the scattered distribution of the species throughout its geographic range. (Updated 2017/06/12)

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Threats

The Canadian range of Oregon Forestsnail coincides with the most densely populated and highly fragmented region of BC. The most serious threat to Oregon Forestsnail is continuing residential and commercial development, resulting in further fragmentation and isolation of populations. Snails have limited dispersal capabilities and cannot move between habitat patches or colonize suitable habitat if there are barriers to dispersal. Additional threats include recreational activities and invasive non-native/alien species. (Updated 2017/06/12)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Oregon Forestsnail is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Oregon Forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

BC Invertebrates Recovery Team

  • Jennifer Heron - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 604-222-6759  Fax: 604-660-1849  Send Email

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

14 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Oregon forestsnail Allogona towsendiana in Canada (2014-01-03)

    Oregon Forestsnail is a member of a large and diverse family (Polygyridae) of North American land snails. The shell of mature individuals is pale brown or straw-yellow, round and flattened, and ranges from 28-35 mm in diameter. The apertural lip of the shell is pale and broadly expanded. Unlike some related species, the aperture (shell opening) lacks tooth-like structures (denticles). The shell is smooth and without hair-like projections as in some related snails.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Oregon Forestsnail (2013-12-18)

    This large land snail is endemic to western North America. In Canada, it occurs mainly in the Lower Fraser Valley, the most densely populated and highly fragmented region of British Columbia. It also has been found at a single site on Vancouver Island. Habitat loss due to residential and commercial development continues to fragment and isolate remaining populations.
  • Response Statements - Oregon Forestsnail (2004-04-21)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Oregon Forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana) in Canada (2016-02-17)

    The Minister of Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the Oregon Forestsnail and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation with British Columbia Ministry of Environment, the Department of National Defence, and the British Columbia Conservation Data Centre. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The attached provincial recovery plan (Part 2 of this document) for the species was provided as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. Environment Canada has prepared this federal addition to meet the requirements of SARA.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (2004-04-21)

    This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 139, number 2, 2005) (2005-01-12)

    Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), is amended by Order of the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, by the addition of 73 species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and follows consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the public, and analysis of costs and benefits to Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2003 (2003-10-01)

    May 2003 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
  • COSEWIC Annual Report – 2012-2013 (2013-09-24)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2012 to September 2013) from November 25 to November 30, 2012 and from April 28 to May 3, 2013. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 73 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 2 Endangered: 28 Threatened: 19 Special Concern: 19 Data Deficient: 4 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 73 Of the 73 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 50 species that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 26 of those species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#28), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-06-28)

    The activity involves the presence/non-detected surveys at several sites for a number of species at risk that have been evaluated as having potential for occurrence at these sites. Methodologies proposed for several species do not require a permit due to their primarily observational character. For Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa), Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) and Oregon Forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana), brief capture (dip-net surveys) or low-intensity harassment (overturning natural cover objects) may be required.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2009-0115), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2009-08-17)

    The proponents will conduct ground surveys of species at risk including, amphibian visual encounter surveys, Oregon forestsnail ground searches, Badger burrow searches, Pacific water shrew habitat ratings, Spotted bat roost searches, snake foraging surveys, Monarch surveys (visual searches for larvae and adults), Great basin spadefoot egg mass surveys and Snake den surveys. No traps will be set and animals will only be handled where it is necessary for species identification and photo documentation. All animals will then be immediately released in the habitat where captured. No animals will be marked.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2011-0164), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2011-05-10)

    The proponent is currently completing the pre-design of a new 17 lot residential subdivision. As part of the preliminary design of the subdivision, an engineering firm will be conducting a geotechnical investigation at the proposed subdivision site. This permit is for incidental effect on the Oregon Forestsnail - confirmed on-site, during the course of the geotechnical investigation. The proposed subdivision site is approximately 5 ha in size. The geotechnical investigation will consist of 3-4 drilled test holes (10 m deep) and 5-8 shallow test pits (1.5 m deep). The locations of the test holes and test pits will be selected following a review of the preliminary site grading plan, and will be subject to relocation if species at risk or their residences are located in the immediate area. To conduct the geotechnical activities, a tracked drill rig will access the various test hole sites, and a backhoe will access the test pit sites. The footprints associated with each test hole and test pit are approximately 0.3 m2 and 1.5 m2, respectively. Therefore a maximum area of approximately 13.2 m2 will be directly disturbed as a result of the drilling and test pitting, with some additional disturbance required to access the test hole/pit locations.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2011-0170), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2011-05-10)

    The objective of the project is to obtain data on the presence and distribution of Oregon Forestsnails (Allogona townsendiana) on the proponent's property, in order to determine where future management/mitigation efforts must be targeted. The proponents will survey the site for Oregon Forestsnails between May 10, 2011 and November 1, 2012, following protocols set out in the Draft Best Management Practices Guidebook for Oregon Forestsnail and Other Land Snails at Risk in the Coastal Lowlands (MOE 2007). Snails located may be handled briefly and measured with calipers. No animals will be marked.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species Under the Species At Risk Act: March 2004 (2004-03-03)

    The Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003 as part of its strategy for the protection of wildlife species at risk. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, hereinafter referred to as the 'SARA list'. Canadians are invited to comment on whether all or some of the species included in this document should be added to the SARA list.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016-07-06)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update November 25, 2021
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