FWS Focus



These unassuming, quarter-inch snails live in the leaf litter of the cool, moist hillsides of Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge where they depend on temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months and temperatures above 14 degrees Fahrenheit in winter to survive. The major long-term cause of snail population decline is climate change climate change
Climate change includes both global warming driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Though there have been previous periods of climatic change, since the mid-20th century humans have had an unprecedented impact on Earth's climate system and caused change on a global scale.

Learn more about climate change

Listed in 1978 as federally endangered, the most immediate habitat threats come from logging, quarrying, road building, sinkhole filling and contamination, as well as human foot traffic, livestock grazing and trampling. We work with state, county and private conservation agencies to preserve the snail and its habitat. Some private landowners have entered into voluntary protection agreements. 

Scientific Name

Discus macclintocki
Common Name
Pleistocene disc
Iowa Pleistocene snail
FWS Category

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers




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