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Banbury Springs Limpet

ESA Status: Endangered

The endemic Banbury Springs limpet (Idaholanx fresti) has only been found in four springs along the Snake River in Idaho. Due to its lack of specialized respiratory organs, this aquatic snail is highly sensitive to dissolved oxygen fluctuations and, thus, requires cold, clear, well-oxygenated swift water. It prefers to live on the underside of coarse cobble and boulder substrates.

The Banbury Springs limpet has been listed as Endangered on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1992. In 1995, a Recovery Plan was established for the five ESA listed Snake River snails at the time: Banbury Springs limpet, Bliss Rapids snail, Idaho springsnail, Snake River physa, and Utah valvata snail. The most recent Five-Year Status Review for the Banbury Springs limpet was completed in 2018. The review found that even though all of its known populations are self-reproducing, annual monitoring density data indicates that three of the four populations are declining.

The annual monitoring also shows an increase in nutrients, like nitrates, at the four population locations. While the direct effects of nitrates on the Banbury Springs limpet are unknown, nitrates are known to negatively impact other invertebrate species. Other known threats to the Banbury Springs limpet include habitat modification and loss through hydroelectric development, water diversion and withdrawal, decreased groundwater quantity and quality, increased macrophyte growth, fine sediment accumulation, predation, and competition with nonnative species like the New Zealand mudsnail.

Staff Contact:

Mike Edmondson

More Information:

Species Profile for Banbury Springs Limpet – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Banbury Springs Limpet
Photo Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Banbury Springs Limpet Range
Map Credit: Idaho Department of Fish and Game
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