Forest snails in eastern Australia - one aspect of the other 99%
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Land snails are an important group of non-vertebrate animals that can provide important insights into the management and conservation of forests. The distribution patterns of Australian land snails reflect the historical events that have forged the continent's varied environments, in particular, its mesic communities. The intimate association of land snails with rainforest, and vegetation types in general, suggests that they have strong predictive value in identifying moist refugia and significant areas for biodiversity conservation. While land snails have a number of practical advantages that make them attractive as environmental indicators, their continued existence in many instances is under threat. Land clearing and fire have played major roles in fragmenting and restricting land snail distributions in the past. Present land management techniques, in particular the use of fire in semi-arid environments, need to be applied judiciously to ensure that the potential beneficial value of this biological resource is not lost.