Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 April 2009
The current distribution of endemic partulid snails on Tahiti in French Polynesia reflects the danger of ignoring expert advice and introducing an alien species into a fragile island ecosystem. The endemic tree-snail fauna of the island now faces extinction. Although the extinction of the native species of Partula (Partulidae; Polynesian tree snails) on Moorea in French Polynesia is well known in the world of conservation biology, losses on other Pacific islands are less well described. This paper presents an update on the status of partulid snail populations on Tahiti in the light of fieldwork undertaken between 1995 and 1997. Native snails still exist in good numbers in two areas, at opposite ends of the island. In other areas, sightings of single or a few individuals indicate remnant populations now on the edge of extinction. Efforts to protect these populations and others in French Polynesia are being planned in collaboration with local government authorities.