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FLORA AND FAUNA
The splendid Skadar Lake (Montenegro and Albania), surprises with new species of snails
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Apr 03, 2013


This picture shows Spring Karuc on the bottom of Skadar Lake. Credit: Vladimir Pesic.

The Gastropoda, more commonly known as snails and slugs, are a large group of animals within the phylum Mollusca. Gastrop?ds species are extremely diverse in forms and sizes, ranging from microscopic to large. About 50 species of snails are currently considered to inhabit Skadar Lake, the largest on the Balkan Peninsula.

The Bojana River connects the lake with the Adriatic Sea, and the Drin River provides a link with the Ohrid Lake.

Scientists Vladimir Pesic from the University of Montenegro and Peter Gloer from the Biodiversity Research Laboratory have recently discovered the new snail species Karucia sublacustrina. The new species inhabits the ancient lake of Skadar that is situated at the border between Montenegro and Albania.

These circumstances and the reported decline in endemic gastropod diversity should trigger efforts to save this sensitive lake ecosystem. The IUCN Red List of

Threatened Species includes 21 endemic species from the Skadar Lake basin. Six of them are assessed as Critically Endangered and nine are listed as Endangered. All this comes to say that being such a valuable biodiversity location, Skadar Lake must be preserved together with its endemic biota.

Pesic V, Gloer P (2013) A new freshwater snail genus (Hydrobiidae, Gastropoda) from Montenegro, with a discussion on gastropod diversity and endemism in Skadar Lake. ZooKeys 281: 69-90, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.281.4409

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