Haida Gwaii Slug (Staala gwaii) was first documented from Haida Gwaii in 2002 and was scientifically described in 2010. This slug is small (8-17mm adult body length), with an overall body colour of grey or tan to jet black, and is covered with small, often black-tipped projections or papillae. The species is characterized by its visceral hump covered by the mantle, which is often mottled with a darker colouration than its body.
Haida Gwaii Slug was designated as Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2013, and in 2018 it was listed as Special Concern on Schedule 1 of the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). In British Columbia, the Haida Gwaii Slug is ranked S2 (imperilled) by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre, and is on the provincial Red list. It represents a recently-described species and genus, and is found nowhere else in the world. It lives mostly in cool, moist microhabitats in the subalpine zone, but it has also been found in a few forested sites. Browsing by introduced Sitka Black-tailed Deer on Haida Gwaii have greatly modified the slug’s habitat, and have probably reduced its population. Climate change also threatens to reduce the extent of the slug’s preferred subalpine habitat.
The main threats to Haida Gwaii Slug across the species’ range are projected longer-term climate changes from habitat shifting and alteration, droughts, temperature extremes, and an increase in severity from storms and flooding. Ongoing ecosystem changes to slug habitats on Haida Gwaii occur from browsing by introduced Sitka Black-tailed Deer.
The management goal is to ensure the redundancy of Haida Gwaii Slug in Canada by addressing human-caused threats that are contributing to a decline in the area, extent, and quality of suitable habitat to known subpopulations (including any additional subpopulations that may be identified in the future).
B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, J. Heron, D. Marks, K. Ovaska. 2022. Management Plan for Haida Gwaii Slug (Staala gwaii) in British Columbia. Province of BC, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Management Plan (Species at Risk)
Topic: Recovery Planning
Keywords: Haida Gwaii Slug, Staala gwaii, Management Plan, British Columbia, Haida Gwaii, slug, invertebrate, gastropod, species at risk, special concern, Red List, S2, N2, G2
Scientific Name: Staala gwaii
English Name: Haida Gwaii Slug
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