This presentation will follow the experiences and findings in the career of biologist, Tom Burke, that ignited his interest in mollusks, culminating in the book, “Land Snails and Slugs of the Pacific Northwest.” Working with habitats of many species, including threatened, endangered and sensitive animals and plants, led Tom to many hidden treasures including several new species of mollusks. Using photographs from his book, Tom will show the wide diversity of forms and sizes of our native snails and slugs, discuss the ecology and reproductive specialization of land mollusks, and illustrate important differences between native and exotic species (those found in your yards and gardens are seldom natives). Also of interest are mollusk’s distribution, and defenses (have you seen the jumping-slugs or taildroppers?).
Tom is a retired Wildlife Biologist, having worked with the US Forest Service and Washington Department of Wildlife for 30 years. His interest in mollusks began as he encountered them during different projects on the job, and he has been studying them as an avocation for the past 40 years. He currently works under contract with various agencies as a consultant on inland mollusks.