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Pyrenaearia velascoi 

Scope: Global & Europe
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Stylommatophora Hygromiidae

Scientific Name: Pyrenaearia velascoi Hidalgo, 1867
Taxonomic Notes: DNA sequences indicate that Pyrenaearia velascoi is closely related to P. carascalensis, but it constitutes a proper genetic lineage restricted to the Basque Country mountains. Although Altonaga et al. (1994) indicated that P. velascoi could be subdivided into two or three subspecies, molecular studies do not support subspecific taxa.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2010-07-14
Assessor(s): Gómez Moliner, B.J.
Reviewer(s): Martínez-Ortí, A., Arrébola, J., Lutz, M.L., Livingstone, S. & Neubert, E.
Justification:
This species is endemic to Spain where it is restricted to the highest calcareous mountains of the Basque Country and Navarra Department (Altonaga et al. 1984, Elejalde et al. 2009). The species has a very restricted range and is only known from six localities. One subpopulation (Aralar, Altxueta) has been severely damaged by the construction of a road and a relay mast (antenna) on the top of the mountain. Another subpopulation (Gorbea, Peña Lekanda) is nearly extinct. The other four populations are living in the highest altitudes of four mountains (above 1,300 m in places with a maximum altitude of 1,340- 1,530 m). Climate change causing alteration in its habitat is a potential future threat to this species and it is therefore listed as Vulnerable D2.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Spain, where it is restricted to the highest calcareous mountains of the Basque Country and Navarra Department (Altonaga et al. 1984, Elejalde et al. 2009). It does not reach the Pyrenees.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Spain (Spain (mainland))
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:6
Number of Locations:1-6
Lower elevation limit (metres):1300
Upper elevation limit (metres):1530
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Studies on population trend have not been conducted on this species. Nevertheless, the observation that the species is very difficult to find in Peña Lekanda and the alteration of the habitat in Aralar: Altxueta indicated a population reduction during the last decades. In other localities, Pyrenaearia cantabrica (a species living between 900-1,300 m in the Basque Country and Navarra) is reaching places which previously were apparently occupied exclusively by P. velascoi. The interaction between these two species should be investigated.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species lives exclusively on calcareous rocks and in crevices, as well as within the vegetation growing in crevices or on the bottom of the walls, above ca 1,300 m. Is only present on the north side of the mountains, where it is more humid and shady.
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used or traded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Global warming might have a dramatic effect on this species. Transit of mountaineers off mountain trails. Possible competition with the native Pyrenaearia cantabrica.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation recommendations should be based on preserving the localities where the species is present, as well as to more accurately define its area of occupancy and subpopulation sizes. Some of the localities where the species lives are Regional Natural Reserves. It is also necessary to conduct studies about its biology. It should be investigated whether the species is still living in Peña Lekanda, since recent visits have not allowed to observe it. Studies to obtain indices of abundance should also be made in order to monitor population trends of these subpopulations.
Another action should focus on investigating the interaction between P. velascoi and P. cantabrica in locations where they coexist. We have seen this contact in Aldamin Mountain, Peña Lekanda and San Donato.
In areas where mountaineers walking may interfere with the species (Gorbea, Txindoki, Aitzgorri), information panels should indicate the danger that leaving the marked trails, can have on the species of fauna and flora typical of high altitudes.

Citation: Gómez Moliner, B.J. 2011. Pyrenaearia velascoi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T18955A8746993. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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