In your Backyard
There are two important things any homeowner can do that will help the Blue-grey Taildropper.
1. Avoid using slug-baits, especially methaldehyde-based bait! These slug-baits use toxic chemicals to kill slugs, but they kill all slugs, and other animals too, such as snakes, which can get poisoned when they eat slugs. They can also harm pets and children. Remember that not all slugs are bad. Most pest slugs in your garden are introduced species, not native forest species. Contact HAT for alternative slug-management techniques.
2. Preserve a part of your property in an intact state and encourage native plants and shrubs. Even if your property is not a Garry Oak meadow or older Douglas-fir forest, it may still be part of an important corridor for animals and plants travelling between these rare habitats. Native plantings will help animals like the Blue-grey Taildropper find new homes, which is desperately important for their survival.
Finally, if you are fortunate enough to have Garry Oak meadow or older Douglas-fir forest on your property, contact us to arrange a confidential, free property visit. We can show you how to search your land for this endangered slug.
As a Volunteer
Citizen scientists are helping conserve Blue-grey Taildroppers through volunteer monitoring programs. With a little training and committment, volunteers can help HAT and other biologists learn more about the distribution and habits of this small mollusc.
At least once week during the fall and early winter, volunteer monitors check artificial cover objects in potential habitat for the presence of Blue-grey Taildroppers. These cover objects are located in areas that are good habitat for Blue-grey Taildroppers, and are sometimes in difficult to access areas. Monitors are asked to record what they find under the cover objects, and to photograph any Blue-grey Taildroppers and any other molluscs (slugs and snails) they find. HAT biologists will setup cover objects with in appropriate areas and show you how to check the objects and record your observations.
What training or knowledge do I need?
While no special knowledge is needed, enjoying outdoor time in natural areas and a little training are required. When HAT biologists go out with you to setup cover objects, they will also show you how to check the objects while minimizing impacts to natural features, and how to record and submit your observations. This is not highly technical - a notebook, email address, and small camera are all that are required. Sites are in natural areas, and are not always easy to access. Physical stamina and comfort in natural settings is defintely a requirement.
What kind of commitment do I need to make?
For monitoring to be effective, you must be able check the artificial cover objects consistently (at least once per week) over several months in the fall and early winter. Checking the cover objects during the winter and mid-summer is not required, as Blue-grey Taildroppers are very rarely found during these seasons. Spring monitoring is encouraged, but not required.
Sounds great! How do I get started?