Endangered Snails Released After Successful Breeding Programme
Thanks to a global breeding programme involving 15 institutions over three decades, conservationists at the Zoological Society of London are celebrating the successful reintroduction of thousands of endangered snails to their former home in French Polynesia.
Partula snails were nearly wiped out in the 1980s by the Rosy Wolf Snail (Euglandina rosea). The Rosy Wolf Snail was introduced from Florida in the 1970s in order to try and rid the islands of a previously-introduced alien species: the Giant African Land Snail. The predatory Rosy Wolf Snail instead preferred the tiny natives, unfortunately driving them to the brink of extinction.
ZSL’s Curator of Invertebrates Paul Pearce-Kelly, who coordinates the international Partula snail conservation breeding initiative, said: “Though we’re still in the early stages of the reintroduction process, which will take several more years to complete, we’re very optimistic... These tiny snails have proven themselves to be incredibly robust, and have been quickly (in snail terms anyway) dispersing into their naturally high tree habitat following their release – something we were delighted to see."