Species Profile

Dromedary Jumping-slug

Scientific Name: Hemphillia dromedarius
Taxonomy Group: Molluscs
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2014
Last COSEWIC Designation: Threatened
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened

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Quick Links: | Taxonomy | Photo | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Dromedary Jumping-slug

Dromedary Jumping-slug Photo 1



Slugs are a group of animals within the class Mollusca that share a similar body form. They usually have no external shell, but when there is one, the animal is incapable of retracting into it, as snails can.



The Dromedary Jumping-slug is about 60 mm long with a pronounced hump on its back. It is predominantly grey with darker mottling, and the underside of the foot is often bright yellow or orange. Part of the internal shell plate is visible through a slit in the skin. The tail is tipped with a distinctive horn.


Distribution and Population

The Dromedary Jumping-slug is restricted to western North America. Its range extends from Vancouver Island south to the Cascade Range and Olympic Peninsula in western Washington in the United States. In British Columbia, the Dromedary Jumping-slug is known only from seven localities on southern and western Vancouver Island. It is very possible that other sites will be found. However, the extent of the search already undertaken, in proportion to the number of sites identified, indicates that the distribution is very patchy and that the jumping-slug occurs only within a restricted range. No information is available on population size and trends; but where the Dromedary Jumping-slug occurs, densities are usually very low, with only one or two individuals found at most sites.



The Dromedary Jumping-slug’s dependency on older forests has not been established, but all known sites are in old growth or forests that contain old-growth characteristics. These sites are either on the wet west coast of Vancouver Island or at elevations above 700 metres in the southern interior of the island. Most sites contain abundant coarse woody debris, including large-diameter pieces; these pieces are thought to be important in providing refuge and egg-laying sites.



The ecology and life history of the Dromedary Jumping-slug are very poorly known. The species is hermaphroditic (having both male and female reproductive organs), and individuals lay clutches of 50 to 60 eggs in moist, rotting wood. Dromedary Jumping-slugs live more than one year; their predators include invertebrates (such as carnivorous slugs, snails, and beetles) and vertebrates (such as rodents or birds). The anti-predator behaviour of jumping-slugs is unique and consists of writhing and leaping in response to disturbance. The dispersal ability of the Dromedary Jumping-slug is probably poor, as reflected by the scattered distribution pattern of the species.



All known threats to the Dromedary Jumping-slug are associated with habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation incurred by logging. While it may persist in some habitat remnants, the species' capacity to colonize isolated, unoccupied habitats is restricted. Habitat fragmentation also allows greater access to the jumping-slug for predators that do not live in old-growth forests. This slug may also be facing threats from predation or competition from exotic species, but more research is necessary to assess these threats.



Federal Protection

The Dromedary Jumping-slug is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

The Dromedary Jumping-slug is protected by the Canada National Parks Act where it occurs within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.


Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Dromedary Jumping-slug (Hemphillia dromedarius) in Canada
Status First posting on SAR registry


Recovery Team

BC Invertebrates Recovery Team

  • Jennifer Heron - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 604-222-6759  Fax: 604-660-1849  Send Email


Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date The goal of the BC (British Columbia) Terrestrial Invertebrate Recovery Team is to prevent the extirpation of the Dromedary Jumping-slug, Dun Skipper (Western population), Oregon Forestsnail, Puget Oregonian Snail, Sand-verbena Moth, Warty Jumping-slug, and Hot Water Physa and to eventually recover these species so they may become downgraded from their threatened or endangered status. Designation of Wildlife Habitat Areas under the BC Ministry of Environment’s Identified Wildlife Management Program has been a strong tool in the protection of habitat on crown land for these terrestrial invertebrates at risk. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities Surveys have been conducted under optimal conditions to locate and inventory the Dromedary Jumping-slug and Warty Jumping-slug in key areas of their habitat. Important habitat features (elevation, biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification, forest type and age, and terrain) are recorded during the survey and recommended steps for habitat security are taken into consideration. In April 2005, information was gathered to better understand the breeding habitat and nesting areas of the Oregon Forestsnail. In areas where the snails and their nests were found, biological and environmental information was collected. Throughout 2005, other monitoring activities were documented, including juvenile habitats, seasonal migration and dispersal (using Global Positioning Systems and Global Information Systems), and predator interactions with the snails. Students have been involved in Oregon Forestsnail research since 2002. They have estimated population sizes through mark and recapture studies and investigated the vegetation preferences of the snails. Currently, there is an over-wintering habitat and long-term population dynamics study underway. In 2000, the population of Hotwater Physa was surveyed and potential management issues and recommendations were identified. Summary of Recovery Activities Public outreach and stewardship programs are raising awareness of all BC terrestrial invertebrates and their habitats. A public education program will help to promote awareness of these species at risk. Trinity Western University has featured a story and a photo of the snail in its alumni/supporter magazine and on its website. URLs Trinity Western University:http://www.twu.ca/news/view-specific.aspx?newsID=424 COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Oregon Forestsnail:http://www.sararegistry.gc. ca/virtual_sara/files/cosewic/sr_oregan_forestsnail_e.pdf COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Dromedary Jumping-slug:http://www.sararegistry .gc.ca/virtual_sara/files/cosewic/sr_dromedary_jumping_slug_ e.pdf


PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

11 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Dromedary Jumping-slug Hemphillia dromedarius in Canada (2014)

    Jumping-slugs (genus Hemphillia) are a small group of arionid slugs endemic to western North America (Gastropoda: Stylommatophora: Arionidae). Of the 7 recognized species, 3 occur in Canada (Dromedary Jumping-slug, H. dromedarius; Warty Jumping-slug, H. glandulosa; Pale Jumping-slug, H. camelus). The Dromedary Jumping-slug is a relatively large (ca. 60 mm long) slug with a distinctive appearance: the visceral pouch is elevated into a pronounced hump and a part of the internal shell plate is visible through a slit in the mantle. The tail is laterally compressed, keeled, and tipped with a horn-like protuberance (caudal horn). The predominant colour is grey with darker mottling; the sole of the foot is often bright yellow or orange.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Dromedary Jumping-slug (2015)

    This relatively large slug is a member of a small group of slugs that are found globally only in western North America. In Canada, despite a great deal of searching, this species is known from fewer than 20 sites on southern Vancouver Island. There, it is restricted to moist, older-growth (>80 years old) forests. Populations are invariably small, and are fragmented by intervening logged areas and by the species’ poor dispersal ability. Threats include further loss and fragmentation from forestry and the increased frequency and severity of droughts associated with climate change.
  • Response Statements - Dromedary Jumping-slug (2004)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Dromedary Jumping-slug (Hemphillia dromedarius) in Canada (2017)

    Dromedary Jumping-slug, Hemphillia dromedarius, is an old-growth coniferous forest-dwelling slug endemic to southern British Columbia (B.C.) and western Washington, with unconfirmed records in northern Oregon. The species exists at the northernmost limits of its range in south western B.C. with a known Canadian range extent of approximately 4000 km2confined to southern Vancouver Island. The species was located and confirmed in Canada in 1999. As of 2008, 15 locations have been defined for Dromedary Jumping-slug, with eight of these locations in protected areas. Additional undocumented localities likely exist, although the range extent is not likely to expand significantly. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated Dromedary Jumping-slug as Threatened in 2003, due to the fragmentation of its coniferous forest habitats and threats to the remaining habitats, mainly from forestry activities.

Action Plans

  • Multi-species Action Plan for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (2016)

    Backed by the Insular Mountain Range of Vancouver Island and facing the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (Pacific Rim NPR) protects and presents the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada's west coast. Pacific Rim NPR consists of three distinct units, the Long Beach Unit, Broken Group Islands Unit, and West Coast Trail Unit, each offering a range of unique visitor experiences. With significant areas (51,216 ha in total) of old growth, temperate rainforest, coastal dune systems, wetlands and foreshore, and marine habitats, the park demonstrates the interconnectedness between land, sea, and people. These natural wonders are interwoven with the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations culture (past and present), and that of European explorers and settlers.


  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (2004)

    This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (2005)

    Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), is amended by Order of the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, by the addition of 73 species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and follows consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the public, and analysis of costs and benefits to Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2013-2014 (2014)

    Under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to "assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species". COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings in this reporting year (October, 2013 to September, 2014) from November 24 to November 29, 2013 and from April 27 to May 2, 2014. During the current reporting period, COSEWIC assessed the status or reviewed the classification of 56 wildlife species. The wildlife species assessment results for the 2012-2013 reporting period include the following: Extinct: 0 Extirpated: 0 Endangered: 23 Threatened: 12 Special Concern: 20 Data Deficient: 0 Not at Risk: 1 Total: 56 Of the 56 wildlife species examined, COSEWIC reviewed the classification of 40 that had been previously assessed. The review of classification for 25 of those wildlife species resulted in a confirmation of the same status as the previous assessment.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act : Terrestrial Species - January 2015 (2015)

    The Government of Canada is committed to preventing the disappearance of wildlife species at risk from our lands. As part of its strategy for realizing that commitment, on June 5, 2003, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species provided for under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Extirpated, Endangered and Threatened species on Schedule 1 benefit from the protection of prohibitions and recovery planning requirements under SARA. Special Concern species benefit from its management planning requirements. Schedule 1 has grown from the original 233 to 521 wildlife species at risk. Please submit your comments byApril 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing normal consultationsand byOctober 15, 2015, for terrestrial species undergoing extended consultations.For a description of the consultation paths these species will undergo, please see:Species at Risk Public Registry website
  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species Under the Species At Risk Act: March 2004 (2004)

    The Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003 as part of its strategy for the protection of wildlife species at risk. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, hereinafter referred to as the 'SARA list'. Canadians are invited to comment on whether all or some of the species included in this document should be added to the SARA list.