Cover photo credit: Allan Harris



“Endangered” means the species lives in the wild in Ontario, but is facing imminent extinction or extirpation.

Date added to the Species at Risk in Ontario List

June 15, 2016

Read the assessment report (PDF)

What it looks like

The Broad-banded Forestsnail is about 30 mm in diameter. The shell of this terrestrial snail is pale yellow with pale brown bands. The shell usually has a distinctive low tooth inside the lower lip of the opening and a large, open hole (umbilicus) at the central part of the underside of the shell.

Where it lives

Broad-banded Forestsnails are found mainly in forest and woodland on sandy soil in Ontario, but shells have also been seen in wooded alvars and shrubby vegetation on sandy soil near deciduous forests.

The snails are active during the day and night, but retire to shelter during the mid-morning to late afternoon. Broad-banded Forestsnails hibernate by burying 5 to 10 cm under the soil or under leaf litter on the forest floor. They require damp habitat for feeding, accessibility, and reproduction.

Where it’s been found in Ontario

The Broad-banded Forestsnail now occurs only at Point Pelee National Park and on Pelee Island; although in the past it was found at other mainland locations and islands in Lake Erie. It is also found in the United States.

What threatens it

Past threats to the Broad-band Forestsnail were forest clearing and Double-crested Cormorants, but these threats are now significantly reduced. The snail currently lives in protected areas where tree removal is limited.

Potential current threats to the species include: changes to the vegetation and soil chemistry, trampling caused by recreational use of trails, alterations to the shoreline as a result of climate change, invasive plants and earthworms altering the forest ecosystem, and the introduction of Wild Turkeys and Ring-necked Pheasants.

Action we are taking

Endangered species and their general habitat are automatically protected.

What you can do

Report a sighting

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tracks species at risk such as the Broad-banded Forestsnail. Report a sighting of an endangered animal or plant to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.


  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.

Be a good steward

  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats.

Report illegal activity

Quick facts

  • Broad-banded Forestsnails move only a few metres over the course of their lives.
  • The snail has both male and female reproductive organs, and both genders exchange sperm and produce eggs during mating.
  • On average, a Broad-banded Forestsnail reaches maturity at one year, and has a lifespan of four years.