Sunday, 2 July 2006

Salt lake snails

Lake Corangamite is the largest permanent lake in Australia. It is listed as a Ramsar wetland and supports many species of waterbirds, including significant numbers of banded stilt, Australian shelduck, freckled duck and double-banded plover.

Land around the lake has been cleared for agriculture. Drainage channels have also changed the natural flow of water into Corangamite and associated lakes. From a distance, Lake Corangamite looks desolate.

The shoreline is covered in snail shells. Coxiella striata, a saltwater snail, occurs in its millions along the strandline. Succulent plants grow through the shell mulch. These plants provide a home for the introduced pest snail, Theba pisana, which also occurs in large numbers.

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