New Zealand Mudsnail Surveys

The highly invasive New Zealand mudsnail was first reported in the Santa Monica Mountains in 2005. The snails were collected in 4 streams during bioassessment monitoring of the Malibu Creek watershed as part of a watershed-wide monitoring program1 . As of 2014, NZMS have been detected in 14 streams in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Bay Foundation (TBF) is currently funding research to help determine the impacts of the New Zealand mudsnails on benthic macro-invertebrates in northern Santa Monica Bay watersheds. Stakeholders, including California State Parks, Mountain Restoration Trust, National Parks Service, and Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program (SMBNEP), are currently considering the use of biological control methods being proposed by Dr. Tom Dudley from the Riparian Invasion Research Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara. SMBNEP is also evaluating the potential uses of environmental DNA (eDNA) as an early detection method for NZMS and other aquatic invasive species.

Read this comprehensive report to find out more.