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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Invertebrates are receiving an increasing amount of conservation attention across North America. Currently, about 40% of the animals listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) are invertebrates (www.NatureServe.org). The National Park Service and other agencies require better information on invertebrate faunas in order to effectively conserve this important group of animals. One way to prioritize invertebrate groups for study is to assess the number of rare taxa within a given genus. In this context, Oreohelix (mountainsnails) are a top priority because the genus is assumed to support a very high percentage of rare and endemic taxa. Additionally, Oreohelix species in Wyoming and surrounding states have been petitioned for ESA listing in the recent past. The diversity of Oreohelix forms in Wyoming is not well-understood, and the current taxonomy may not reflect the true pattern of diversity within the state. Therefore, we are studying both the morphology and genetic structure of Oreohelix in Grand Teton National Park to begin to understand the diversity of mountainsnails in the state. We collected Oreohelix from 4 locations in Grand Teton National Park. Based on shell and internal characteristics, all individuals were identified as O. subrudis. We are currently preparing specimens for DNA sequencing.