4 thousand snails from a rare species feared to have gone extinct are being launched into the wild because of the conservation efforts of a UK zoo.
The better Bermuda land snail was thought to have vanished from the planet, with populations decimated by invasive predatory species, till a small group was found in an alleyway in the island’s capital, Hamilton, in 2014.
They continue to be critically endangered however, in the previous few years, consultants at Chester Zoo have been increase a inhabitants – a project which culminates this month as 4,000 of the snails are launched again into the wild in Bermuda.
“It’s incredible to be involved in a project that has prevented the extinction of a species,” stated Dr Gerardo Garcia, the zoo’s curator of decrease vertebrates and invertebrates.
“The Bermuda snail is certainly one of Bermuda’s oldest endemic animal inhabitants.
“It has survived radical adjustments to the panorama and ecology on the distant oceanic islands of Bermuda over 1,000,000 years however, since the 1950s and ’60s, it has declined quickly.”
The snails are being launched on to Nonsuch Island, a protected nature reserve which has been recognized as the greatest location for them to thrive, partly on account of the absence of the species’ most important predators, together with carnivorous snails and flatworms.
Numerous them might be tracked because of particular fluorescent tags trialled by snail specialist Dr Kristiina Ovaska at the zoo.
Dr Mark Outerbridge, wildlife ecologist for the Bermuda Authorities, stated: “It has been tremendously gratifying for me to see them return to Bermuda for reintroduction.
“We have identified a number of isolated places that are free of their main predators and I am looking forward to watching them proliferate at these release sites.”
One other species – the lesser Bermuda snail – is anticipated to be launched in the coming months.