PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
Shortface Lanx, Fisherola nuttallii (Haldeman, 1841), is a small limpet-shaped (i.e., like a cone volcano) freshwater snail that reaches about 12 mm in length, 10 mm in width and 6 mm in height. It is readily distinguished from all other freshwater snails living in the Columbia River drainage of Canada and the US by its shell shape. The genus Fisherola currently contains a single species but is closely related to the genus Lanx, found in southern Oregon and northern California and a third yet to be described species, the “Banbury Lanx,” known from four springs in southern Idaho. Given its requirements for flowing, well-oxygenated, cool (less than 20°C) rivers, Shortface Lanx could be a potential sensitive species for monitoring aquatic environments.
This limpet-like freshwater snail is globally confined to the Columbia River basin. Historically known from the 1800s, the first recent evidence of the species in Canada was the discovery of a broken shell in the Columbia River near Trail, British Columbia, followed by live individuals being found in the same area in 2009 and 2010. Searches in 2014 confirm the species still exists in this short, free flowing section of the Columbia River. It requires flowing, clean, well-oxygenated, cold water, but the numerous dams on the Columbia River and its major tributaries have converted much of this habitat into reservoirs. The species is exposed to a variety of threats from natural system modifications caused by the dams, pollution from urban and industrial sources, invasive and problematic native species, and climate change.
Over the past year COSEWIC re-examined the status of 25 wildlife species; of these, the majority (68%) were re-assessed at the same or lower level of risk. Of a total of 45 species assessed, seven were assigned a status of Not at Risk (two re-assessments and five new assessments). To date, and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 724 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 320 Endangered, 172 Threatened, 209 Special Concern, and 23 Extirpated (i.e., no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 15 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, 54 wildlife species have been designated as Data Deficient, and 177 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.