Marwell Zoo breeds more species of Partula snails
Marwell Zoo in England has recently expanded its breeding program for the endangered Partula snails. Until recently, 4 species were cultivated, but now there are 8. Most species are extinct in the wild or critically endangered. Visitors can now view more than 800 snails in Encounter Village. The care must be done very carefully, because they must be kept at the right temperature between 20 and 24 ° C and a humidity of 70%. Moreover, everything is always thoroughly cleaned so that no diseases can break out. Of some species, Marwell Zoo controls more than 50% of the world population. Caregivers should also not use perfume or aftershave because the snails are very sensitive to that.
These snails are only found on a number of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Partula snails are critically endangered because their habitat is getting smaller and smaller and because of the import of a carnivorous snail species. In the 1970s, the agate snail achatina fulica was introduced to these islands as food for the local population. But the snail meat was anything but popular among the population and the snails escaped. They bred so quickly that they became a pest and threatened the harvest. A solution was then sought and a carnivorous snail from Florida was imported. Unfortunately, the smaller Partula snail fell victim to this. Fortunately, The International Partula Conservation Program is trying to set up a program so that these snails can be placed back in the wild. This year, a number of snails are released in small reserves where they can be studied by researchers. If all goes well, they will really be released later.