The land snail fauna of Furnace Mountain, Powell County, Kentucky is reported. Fifteen families, 35 genera, and 61 native species were documented, containing nearly all the regionally available fauna from an area encompassing 2 ha. Furnace Mountain is a diverse molluscan refugia in Kentucky, representing the most speciose locale reported in North America and is of global importance for land snail biodiversity. The land snail fauna of Furnace Mountain slightly exceeds New Zealand's Waipipi Scenic Reserve, reported as the richest land snail fauna in the world. Species richness was correlated with the area's extensive Newman limestone outcroppings, calcareous soils and its geographic position on the Central Knobstone Escarpment. Reported here as a “geophysical landscape edge”, the area is an amalgamation of the Cumberland Plateau, the Knobs, and the Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky. The convergence of these three diverse snail eco-regions has provided a number of land snail species the opportunities to coexist.
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Vol. 68 • No. 2