Giant glowing pink slug has experienced forest fires in the mountains of Australia

Unique fluorescent pink slug has experienced forest fires in the Australian mountains, hiding in crevices of rocks. About 60 individuals of this striking species were found in the mountains Kaputar in Northern New South Wales (Australia), but the fire destroyed their habitat.

Bright pink glowing Australian slugs can grow up to sizes over 20 cm in length. They were discovered by officers of the national parks and wildlife service after the recent rains in the national Park of mount Kaputar. About it reports The Guardian.

An Ancient Australian Volcano Is a Haven for Giant Pink Slugs. Mount Kaputar pink slug is fluorescent pink and up to 8 inches long. It lives at least 3,280 feet up on the remains of an ancient volcano near Narrabri, New South Wales, #AustralianBushfire

— 360onHistory (@360onHistory) February 3, 2020

Flames raged in the area for more than six weeks from October to December 2019. Area of fires exceeded 18 000 hectares.

Kaputar mountain is an extinct volcano. It is home to dozens of species of snails and slugs, which are found nowhere else in the world. The area was identified as being an endangered ecological community, the first of its kind in Australia.

A bright pink slug species, found only on one mountain in Australia, has survived the devastating bushfires that ripped through much of its habitat.

— CNN (@CNN) February 1, 2020

Malacolog of the Australian Museum Frank Koehler believes that found fluorescent slugs managed to survive the fire because they «retreated into the crevices of rocks».

But about 90% of the population of slugs, which also overwinter in the bark and the trees died in the fire, he said.

A large part of the sources of food of the slime — fungi, moss and mold — were burned by fire, but Koehler said that these species will recover relatively quickly.

According to Koehler, in the coming months, the slug will be more visible to hungry birds and animals on the scorched earth, but a bright color can serve as a warning that can frighten off predators.

Ecological community of the mountain Kaputar includes three species of carnivorous snails, which is nowhere in the world. According to Koehler, while the luminous koputaroa the slug need 5 years to recover the population after the fires, snails may take 20 years, because «their life span is longer and they produce less offspring.» Their food is earthworms and other snails, and they also suffered greatly from the fire.

Koehler said that slugs and snails are the basis of all our ecosystemsbecause «they are the primary food source for many mammals and birds».

«They are unlikely to be able to adapt to very rapidly changing climate, he said. —Most likely, they will disappear. Warming of only 2°C will be enough to destroy all the [ecological] community.»

Since these species are found only on the top of the mountain, «they will not be able to rise above, to avoid high temperatures».

Mountain national Park Kaputar continues to suffer from forest fires and is closed to visitors until 28 February.