Vertigo moulinsiana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Stylommatophora Vertiginidae

Scientific Name: Vertigo moulinsiana Dupuy, 1849
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Desmoulin's Whorl Snail
Pupa charpentieri Kȕster, 1850
Pupa kuesteriana Westerlund, 1975
Pupa laevigata M. von Gallenstein, 1848
Vertigo codia Bourguignat, 1864
Vertigo desmoulinsi Germain, 1913
Vertigo limbata Mouquin-Tandon, 1856
Vertigo ventrosa Heynemann, 1862

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ac ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-05-01
Assessor(s): Killeen, I., Moorkens, E. & Seddon, M.
Reviewer(s): Neubert, E. & Cuttelod, A.
The global assessment follows the European assessment, as the majority of the distribution lies in this region, with scattered outlying records in the southern and eastern parts of the range.

The conservation assessment of Vulnerable (VU) A2ac at the European level and at the level of the 27 member States of the European Union, is based on the estimated loss of individuals in sites, combined with total loss of sub-populations from sites that have been well monitored since the Habitats Directive monitoring began. The loss range is evident in Ireland, Germany and France. In other parts of the range the loss may be equally severe but monitoring has been inadequate to demonstrate loss of range and populations. Despite this uncertainty, the population decline is suspected to be more than 30% over the whole European range of this species. The species is highly conservation dependant and is susceptible to many pressures present in the lowland wetlands where it resides. Thus, the lack of other conservation interest in its habitat and the vulnerable nature of that habitat means that future prospects suggest further decline is anticipated, especially given the need for active conservation management. The ongoing losses of sites also make the remaining suite of populations more isolated and vulnerable.  Strict management prescriptions and ongoing conservation plans need to be developed and implemented before this animal will be secure into the future.

The species was previously assessed as Conservation Dependent, as especially in the southern and western part of the range, disturbance and drying out of these water demanding species has meant that hydrological management is needed to maintain the sites in favourable condition.  However, a change in the IUCN criteria (version 3.1) means that this category is no longer available, and hence it has been revised.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Vertigo moulinsiana is considered by Pokryszko (1990) to be an Atlantic-Mediterranean species. Although it ranges from Ireland to Russia and south to North Africa (Seddon and Holyoak 1993), the main populations are in western and Central Europe and the southern distribution border is poorly known (Pokryszko 1990). There are few records from S. Europe including southern France, Sardinia and Sicily (Seddon and Holyoak 1993) and few records listed from Russia by Schileyko (M. Seddon pers. comm. 2011) and Turkey (Schutt 2001). In Morocco, only one site was known in NW. Morocco, with an older literature record of shells from a small marshes near Alger, Algeria (Seddon and Holyoak 1993), and examination of the specimens suggests that the records are likely to be this species (M. Seddon pers. comm. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Ireland; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna); Lithuania; Moldova; Morocco; Netherlands; Poland; Romania; Slovakia; Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine; United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:A three year assessment has been carried out in Ireland from 2007-2010 (Moorkens and Killeen 2011).  In the past, the number of viable populations surveyed from 1994 to 2006 was chosen as the best proxy in order to estimate population status. Following the wide-ranging survey of 2008-2010, the area of occupancy of the snail was considered to be the best proxy for measuring population condition, as (i) this area had been calculated in the detailed study, and (ii) numbers of individuals are dependent on weather conditions in the months and weeks leading up to a survey. Although it is really equating habitat occupancy with population, it is a better proxy than merely the presence or absence of living Vertigo moulinsiana in a population.

The Favourable Reference Population (FRP) is ‘the population in a given biogeographical region considered the minimum necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the species’ (European Commission 2006).

In Ireland, it was found that 4 of the 20 sites had been destroyed. At least 3 sites had been destroyed since 2007. A further 2 populations had a severe decline in habitat condition, and a further 10 sites had management practices that had led to a decline in habitat, and if left unchanged will ultimately lead to the destruction of the site. This provides for a 25% loss in 5 years, compounded by 10% of sites with severe decline and 50% of sites with some decline in populations. So only 15% of sites are considered to be safe at present.

Similar condition reporting is present from Germany and France. In Netherlands and Belgium there is still ongoing decline, which is significantly impacting the populations.  Only in the UK has favourable population status been reported.

Evidence from elsewhere in the range is missing in its precision due to the absence of targeted studies across the range, but proxy evidence can be taken from reporting by member states under Article 17 of the Habitats and Species Directive. The last round of reporting was in 2007, and member states returned assessments on range, population, habitat, future prospects and overall assessment under an assessment of either (i) favourable (green), (ii) unfavourable declining (amber) or (iii) unfavourable bad (red). The following member states have published their results as follows (2007 assessment): Ireland, Germany and France have an overall unfavourable bad (red) status, while in UK, it is considered overall as Unknown and the Netherlands and in Belgium, it is unfavourable declining (amber).

The records from Algeria are possibly extinct, as it has not been seen since 1886 (M. Seddon pers.comm. 2011)
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species mainly inhabits calcareous, lowland wetlands. It occurs in swamps, fens and marshes usually bordering rivers, canals, lakes and ponds (Bondensen 1966; Butot and Neuteboom 1958; Ripken 1982; Pokryszko 1990; Gärdenfors et al. 1988; Killeen 1996, 2003).  Killeen (2003) points out that, in Britain, this species exhibits a capacity to use "habitats that have arisen from relatively recent watercourse manipulations". 

Vertigo moulinsiana lives on living and dead stems and leaves of tall plants in wetland situations. As well as a tall vegetation structure, V. moulinsiana requires a stable hydrogeology, where the water-table is at, or slightly above, the ground surface for much of the year and any seasonal flooding is of very low amplitude (Tattersfield and McInnes 2003). It climbs tall vegetation in the summer and autumn, but in severe conditions aestivates on the lower leaves of plants. In winter it descends to litter level and becomes less active.

Vertigo moulinsiana is a groundwater dependant species.


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threats to this species are the modification of site hydrology, including dredging and drainage, lack of grazing, scrub encroachment and succession, eutrophication and pollution, pesticides, dumping, inland waterway leisure activities and marinas, canalization and water deviation, fragmentation of habitat, artificial planting on open ground, motorized vehicular damage to habitats, rise of temperatures and extremes, including flooding.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is on the Red List of a number of countries and is considered to be Endangered (EN) in Ireland (Byrne et al. 2009) and Near Threatened in Great Britain (Seddon and Killeen pers. comm. 2009).

While there now are a range of protected sites where this species is present, these require ongoing appropriate site management, and this should be enough to secure the species albeit at a smaller range of sites than at present. Losses are likely to continue at marginal sites. The sites for this species are transition sites that require ongoing maintenance of a hydrosere and thus are highly conservation dependant. The hydrosere is not especially compatible with private agricultural enterprise, so it is likely that more losses will occur, and the set of sites for conservation into the future are likely to be in the ownership of conservation authorities or NGOs. In the long term, unless these sites are large, they may not ultimately be sustainable. Furthermore, they do not fit into any protected habitat category, and are often managed so that they can be changed to fit a habitat category that suits more species of conservation interest, which is usually to the detriment of this snail.

Citation: Killeen, I., Moorkens, E. & Seddon, M. 2012. Vertigo moulinsiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22939A16658400. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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