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Chupadera Springsnail


Chupadera springsnail (Pyrgulopsis chupaderae)

Principal Biologist(s)

Dustin Long

Project Location

Willow Spring, NM

Conservation Problem

Endangered by habitat loss and degradation of aquatic resources, particularly decreases in spring flow due to drought and ongoing and future groundwater pumping in the surrounding area, habitat degradation from livestock grazing, and springhead modification. 

Conservation Status

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) designated the snail as a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1984, and listed it as endangered in 2012. Critical habitat was designated at Willow Spring and a nearby unnamed spring in 2012, although it is unlikely that snails currently exist at the unnamed spring. The species is categorized as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) in the Rio Grande watershed in New Mexico’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy.

Project Goals & Objectives

Our goal is to implement a comprehensive conservation and recovery program for this species. An important component of this project will be for us to work at the interface between the private landowner and the USFWS to achieve conservation benefits for this species. Initially, we aim to:

  • Formalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turner Endangered Species Fund and the owner of Willow Spring to allow access to the site.
  • Conduct comprehensive biotic and abiotic surveys at Willow Spring.
  • Organize a Chupadera springsnail Recovery Planning Meeting at the Ladder Ranch in New Mexico, bringing key partners and stakeholders together to synthesize a conservation strategy for the species and to begin developing a species recovery plan.
  • Work in partnership with New Mexico Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assemble a captive breeding and holding facility for Chupadera springsnails on the Ladder Ranch.
  • Attempt to identify spring sites on the Ladder and Armendaris ranches with habitat characteristics capable of supporting Chupadera springsnail (this will be informed by data gathered from survey work at Willow Spring described above).
  • Potentially translocate Chupadera springsnails to new sites if deemed warranted by the Recovery Team.


Project Background