Bythiospeum pfeifferi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Littorinimorpha Hydrobiidae

Scientific Name: Bythiospeum pfeifferi (Clessin, 1890)
Paladilhia pfeifferi Clessin, 1890
Vitrella pfeifferi Clessin, 1890
Taxonomic Notes:

This species lies within one of the groups of spring-snails that is currently being researched using molecular systematics to determine the taxonomic  status and the species limits are doubted by some researchers (Benke et al. 2009). A conservation assessment is made based on data from shell morphology, pending the results of the full analysis for the group. 

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2010-02-02
Assessor(s): Reischutz, P.
Reviewer(s): Seddon, M.B., Soulsby, A.-M., Vavrova, L. & Cuttelod, A.
Bythiospeum pfeifferi has been assessed as Critically Endangered (CR) B2ab(iii). It is endemic to Austria. At present it has a very restricted range with only one known location and is under threat from ground water extraction and pollution. It is also not found in a protected area, subject to a specific recovery plan or protected by law. However, population size and trends remain unknown.

Bythiospeum pfeifferi was reported as Extinct in 1992 (Wells & Chatfield 1992, Gloer, 2002) as it hadn't been seen for 40 years.  The rediscovery of some specimens in endemic to Austria in 1993 when it as found alive in a spring at Kremsmünster led to the revised listing as Endangered.  However given that it is only known from a single site, which is exploited for domestic water supplies it probably should have been listed as Critically Endangered in 1996, as the second site had not produced specimens for nearly 50 years and wasn't well prescribed.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Bythiospeum pfeifferi is endemic to Austria. Specifically it is known from Kremsmünster in the Northern Alps, between 340 and 380 metres above sea level where it's known from a spring which feeds a pipeline (Reischütz & Reischütz, 2009).  According to Reischütz & Reischütz (2009) the species was first found around 1887 from the area of Kremsmünster , but no precise location. It was then lost for decades until it was rediscovered in 1949 by F. Mahler, but again no exact location is given (Reischütz 1994a). It was not until 1993 when it was found alive in a spring at Kremsmünster (Reischütz 1995).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:4
Number of Locations:1
Lower elevation limit (metres):340
Upper elevation limit (metres):380
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information available for this species.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This freshwater species is found in subterranean environments such as caves, where it inhabits groundwater and rock fissures.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The main threats to the species are habitat destruction, the lowering of the groundwater level and pollution in the form of eutrophication.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is found on the Austrian Red List as Critically Endangered. This species is not currently protected by law in Austria. It is not known whether it exists in a protected area and there are no species-specific recovery plans in place. It is suggested that monitoring of this species habitat is conducted, along with research into the species population trends.

Citation: Reischutz, P. 2010. Bythiospeum pfeifferi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T3410A9836258. . Downloaded on 18 November 2017.
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