Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The species is restricted to isolated patches of deep leaf litter and sheltered retreats among sandstone boulders at a site in Cooper's Rock State Forest and similar rocky areas along the Cheat River Canyon. Visitors threaten this highly restricted species by trampling leaves that provide cover and feeding habitat and by discarding unextinguished cigarettes that pose a fire hazard.
Known populations have increased from 7 in 1987 to 17 in 1992. Using snails produced from a captive breeding population, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reintroduced 140 halfgrown snails into the Cooper's Rock State Forest. In addition, study of the captive population has produced important life history information including sexual maturity, reproduction rates, and longevity. A section 7 consultation with the Department of Agriculture on its Appalachian Integrated Pest Management program, which is administered to slow the spread of the gypsy moth, resulted in an agreement to not spray pesticides near any of the known or suspected snail populations.
Current recovery needs include constructing a fence around occupied habitat in Cooper's Rock State Forest, continuing to prohibit rock climbing in these areas, identifying suitable habitat and conducting population surveys in the Cheat River Canyon, and protecting snail sites on nearby lands.
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources received $3,500 in FY 1991 and $2,500 in FY 1992 to survey for new populations near Cheat River Canyon.
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources: This State agency has conducted surveys to locate new populations in the Cheat River Canyon and has contacted landowners to discuss protection options. The Division also has established a captive population, which has produced snails for reintroduction, as well as provided the opportunity to gain knowledge of the snail's life history. In addition, the Division has been instrumental in protecting the largest population of the snail, which occurs at Cooper's Rock State Forest, by limiting rock climbing and hiking in the area.
The Nature Conservancy: The Conservancy has contacted a private landowner about options for protecting five snail populations on his property.
Plan approved 5/9/93.