Dam likely after huge snail find

NOT SO RARE: The boggomoss snail was listed as endangered, but scientists recently found there could be as many 18,000 in existence.
NOT SO RARE: The boggomoss snail was listed as endangered, but scientists recently found there could be as many 18,000 in existence.

IT appears the rare snail impeding progress on the proposed Nathan Dam will no longer be a hurdle.

In July, SunWater announced work on the massive Dawson River water storage facility had been delayed for another two years while the scientists were searching for a suitable new home for the endangered boggomoss snail.

But during their search scientists found a large thriving population of the snails.

A spokesman for SunWater said extensive field studies had located a significant area of additional boggomoss snail habitat throughout the Dawson region and the known population of the species had increased from 600 individual snails to about 18,000.

As a result SunWater is currently discussing these findings and their implications for the project with the Federal Government’s Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

Central Telegraph contacted the department to ask whether the increased snail population would result in the mollusc being taken off the endangered list and therefore removing this environmental roadblock from the proposal’s path.

However, we were told a response would be at least 20 days away.

Dawson Valley Regional Development president Robert Hutchison said it would appear that the snail, which environmentalists were using to delay the dam’s development, was not so rare after all.

Mr Hutchison also said the Federal Government’s blocking of the Traveston Dam might improve the chances of having the long-awaited Nathan Dam built at last.

Banana Regional Council Mayor John Hooper said the Nathan Dam was first mooted in the 1920s and there had been extensive environmental studies, which included the boggomoss snail.

He thought this might be in the Nathan Dam’s favour as the Traveston Dam studies were more recent and much less extensive.

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