New York Field Office
Northeast Region

Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail (Novisuccinea chittenangoensis):

Federal Status: Listed as Threatened in 1978
NY State Status: Listed as Endangered in 1977

NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Fact Sheet

More Information is available on our National Endangered Species Website

Draft Revised Recovery Plan:

The Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail is now available for public review and comment. Recovery plans present a blueprint for action by Federal and State agencies, other organizations, and individuals interested in helping recover this threatened snail.

Comments on the draft plan for the Chittenango ovate amber snail may be directed in writing to: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York Field Office, 3817 Luke Road, Cortland, NY 13045, by e-mail to, or by fax to 607-753-9699. Comments must be received by Jan. 15, 2004. Copies of the draft recovery plan are available below, or by writing to the above address or calling 607-753-9334.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robyn Niver at the above address or telephone, or e-mail

Federal Register Notice of Availability of the Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail for Review and Comment - December 5, 2003

Draft Revised Recovery Plan for the Chittenango Ovate Amber Snail (PDF format)

News Release: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Seeks Comment on Draft Plan - December 12, 2003

Chittenango snail in hand shows small scale
Chittenango ovate amber snail (USFWS)








The Chittenango ovate amber snail is only known to occur at Chittenango Falls State Park, Chittenango, New York. NYSDEC biologist, Alvin Breisch, has been involved with monitoring efforts at the site since the 1980s but much remains to be learned about this invertebrate. For example, what will be the long term effects to the Chittenango ovate amber snail from the invasion of an exotic snail (Succinea sp. B) which has spread throughout the watershed? Can this original inhabitor survive additional threats from its small population size and extremely limited range, potential water quality changes, and human disturbance?

Partners, including the NYSDEC, the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), the Seneca Park, Rosamond Gifford and Brookfield zoos, and Bristol-Myers Squib, have assisted with annual searches for the Chittenango ovate amber snail. In 2002, ESF professor, Dr. James Gibbs, graduate student James Arrigoni, and Breisch initiated a mark-release-recapture study to better estimate the current population size of the snail at the falls. This research continued in 2003 with Kris Whiteleather, independent contractor, and Joe Brown, zoo keeper at Rosamond Gifford Zoo, spearheading the efforts. Our field office and other volunteers have also assisted with these efforts.

slideshow of Chittenango snails











During a 15-minute period, a group of people carefully combed through the vegetation and removed all located snails. The snails were then separated into Chittenango ovate amber snail and Succinea sp. B, counted, and either marked and released (Chittenango ovate amber snail) or removed from the watershed (Succinea sp. B). Overall, for 2002, 105 individual Chittenango ovate amber snails were marked and 1252 sp. B were removed. The final report is not yet available for 2003. The study will be completed after the third and final year of data collection in 2004.

For further information on the Chittenango ovate amber snail, please contact the New York Field Office at 607-753-9334.



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Last updated: October 31, 2014
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.