Endangered snails successfully breed at ZSL
Monday 21 November 2005
In February 2004 a colony of 56 endemic Bermudan land snails (Poecilozonites circumfirmatus) were flown to ZSL London Zoo’s Invertebrate Conservation Unit.
This move was part of last ditch efforts to prevent the extinction of this remarkable little snail.
The Bermuda Natural History Museum requested ZSL’s urgent assistance after the surviving wild population was feared to have fallen to critically low levels. The hope was to be able to establish a secure ex situ population and to improve life history knowledge to better conserve the species on Bermuda.
Results to date have been very encouraging with a succession of young being produced and successfully reared to adult. There are now approximately 70 adults and 157 juveniles at ZSL.
Close monitoring of egg batches and the resultant hatchling snails is clarifying average clutch size, incubation periods, how long the young take to mature and the overall longevity of the snails. All of this information will feed directly into Bermuda’s on going conservation efforts for the species.
Curator of Invertebrates Paul Pearce-Kelly says: Being an UK overseas territory, Bermuda’s threatened wildlife is of direct British concern and responsibility. Indeed, it is on the overseas territories where almost all of our internationally significant British species occur - a prime example being these remarkable snails.