From Extinction to Protection

A land snail that was previously thought to be extinct has been rediscovered alive and well in a Hamilton alley and this year received legal protection. The Bermuda land snail (Poecilozonites bermudensis) seemed to have vanished from the island, having not been seen for 40 years,  but was found again in 2014. In March of this year, it was added to the Bermuda Protected Species list.

To ensure this little mollusc’s future on the planet (it is found nowhere else except Bermuda), the Department of Conservation Services has been breeding them; 150 of the shelled creatures were packed off to the London Zoo to act as a emergency reserve in case of disaster on Bermuda and the DCS are reintroducing the snail to various locations islandwide.

Dr. Mark Outerbridge of the DCS told the BBC, “For it to be found in Hamilton is unbelievable. It’s the last place you would imagine that a small colony of rare snails would be discovered.” He speculated that a weedy concrete habitat in the Bermudian capital might have protected the snails from predators.

Photo: Naturalis Biodiversity Center/Wikimedia Commons

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