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      Millimeter-sized smart sensors reveal that a solar refuge protects tree snail Partula hyalina from extirpation

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          Abstract

          Pacific Island land snails are highly endangered due in part to misguided biological control programs employing the alien predator Euglandina rosea. Its victims include the fabled Society Island partulid tree snail fauna, but a few members have avoided extirpation in the wild, including the distinctly white-shelled Partula hyalina. High albedo shell coloration can facilitate land snail survival in open, sunlit environments and we hypothesized that P. hyalina has a solar refuge from the predator. We developed a 2.2 × 4.8 × 2.4 mm smart solar sensor to test this hypothesis and found that extant P. hyalina populations on Tahiti are restricted to forest edge habitats, where they are routinely exposed to significantly higher solar radiation levels than those endured by the predator. Long-term survival of this species on Tahiti may require proactive conservation of its forest edge solar refugia and our study demonstrates the utility of miniaturized smart sensors in invertebrate ecology and conservation.

          Abstract

          Bick et al. describe a novel way of testing their hypothesis that an invasive predatory snail fails to drive to extinction a native, threatened non-predatory snail because both have different tolerance ranges for exposure to sunlight. They test it by developing a miniature light sensor, small enough to be carried by these snails on their shells.

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          The Global Decline of Nonmarine Mollusks

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            Technology on the Move: Recent and Forthcoming Innovations for Tracking Migratory Birds

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              Not knowing, not recording, not listing: numerous unnoticed mollusk extinctions.

              Mollusks are the group most affected by extinction according to the 2007 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, despite the group having not been evaluated since 2000 and the quality of information for invertebrates being far lower than for vertebrates. Altogether 302 species and 11 subspecies are listed as extinct on the IUCN Red List. We reevaluated mollusk species listed as extinct through bibliographic research and consultation with experts. We found that the number of known mollusk extinctions is almost double that of the IUCN Red List. Marine habitats seem to have experienced few extinctions, which suggests that marine species may be less extinction prone than terrestrial and freshwater species. Some geographic and ecologic biases appeared. For instance, the majority of extinctions in freshwater occurred in the United States. More than 70% of known mollusk extinctions took place on oceanic islands, and a one-third of these extinctions may have been caused precipitously by introduction of the predatory snail Euglandina rosea. We suggest that assessment of the conservation status of invertebrate species is neglected in the IUCN Red List and not managed in the same way as for vertebrate species.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                blaauw@umich.edu
                diarmaid@umich.edu
                Journal
                Commun Biol
                Commun Biol
                Communications Biology
                Nature Publishing Group UK (London )
                2399-3642
                15 June 2021
                15 June 2021
                2021
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.214458.e, ISNI 0000000086837370, Museum of Zoology and Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, , University of Michigan, ; Ann Arbor, MI USA
                [2 ]GRID grid.214458.e, ISNI 0000000086837370, Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, , University of Michigan, ; Ann Arbor, MI USA
                [3 ]Partulid Global Species Management Programme, Tahiti, Polynésie Française
                [4 ]GRID grid.21925.3d, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 9000, Present Address: Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, , University of Pittsburgh, ; Pittsburgh, PA USA
                Article
                2124
                10.1038/s42003-021-02124-y
                8206136
                34131271
                b00455e5-9fb6-4125-83db-26f99fd3f558
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                Funding
                Funded by: Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Block Grants
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                © The Author(s) 2021

                conservation biology,behavioural ecology,ecology
                conservation biology, behavioural ecology, ecology

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