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Artis wants to save Polynesian tree snails

2015-12-19

Artis wants to save Polynesian tree snails
Artis contributes to the international nature project for the conservation of three species of endangered Polynesian tree snails. The snails are important for biodiversity in the French Polynesian islands. Artis is one of the few zoos in the world that has expertise in caring for these sensitive molluscs. Natura Artis Magistra breeds the snails in the renewed Insectarium. The tree snails belong to the breeding program which aims to increase the survival rate of the tree snail population. After cultivation, they are returned to their natural habitat. As part of its mission, Artis supports several international nature conservation projects.

Polynesian tree snail
Things are not going well with the native snails in French Polynesia, located in the Pacific. Certain species have become extinct due to the introduction of a carnivorous snail species that threatens the ecosystem of the native species. The Insectarium contains three Tahitian species (Partula nodosa, Partula hyalina, Partula affinis) with a total of 687 tree snails. The goal is to return some of the snails to the wild. In addition to breeding the snails, Artis fulfills a coordinating role in this nature conservation project. Participating European and American zoos in the breeding program, bring the tree snails to Artis. These molluscs receive a veterinary inspection before returning to French Polynesia.

Renewed Insectarium
It often focuses only on large animal species, but small organisms play an important role in the ecosystem. In the renewed Insectarium, in addition to the Polynesian tree snail, bees also play a leading role. The public is introduced to a new exhibition about the causes and consequences of the disappearance of many bee colonies. The exhibition also shows how you can do your bit to improve the habitat of the bees. Art and culture are also part of the new exhibition: porcelain insect models made show the diversity of Dutch insects.