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iLabs: Snails Matter — A NC Hero Tries to Save One Species From Extinction

July 28, 2012

Apparently, however abundant the small Ramshorn snails are in our aquarium, there is a type of Ramshorn snail that is close to being extinct in the wild. Yet sometimes one person CAN make a difference.  Here is an article from the Fayetteville Observer we came across, about a North Carolina man, Andy Wood,  who may be the hero that saves the Magnificent Ramshorn snail. The Raleigh newspaper, The News and Observer, also did an article on Andy Wood  and his work with the Magnificent Ramshorn snail.

The Federal Register, the daily journal of the US Government, has an October 26, 2011 entry by the US Fish and Wildlife – a “Candidate Notice of Review,” or CNOR, about this snail along with other creatures being considered for addition to the endangered species list. A CNOR is described this way:

In this Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR), we, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), present an updated list of plant and animal species native to the United States that we regard as candidates for or have proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Identification of candidate species can assist environmental planning efforts by providing advance notice of potential listings, allowing landowners and resource managers to alleviate threats and thereby possibly remove the need to list species as endangered or threatened. Even if we subsequently list a candidate species, the early notice provided here could result in more options for species management and recovery by prompting candidate conservation measures to alleviate threats to the species.

If you go to this document, scroll down to TABLE OF CONTENTS, Supplementary Information, New Candidates, and click on Snails, there is an in-depth explanation of the problems of the Magnificent Ramshorn Snail and even a mention of this man’s efforts:

The only known surviving population is a captive population, comprised of approximately 100 adults, being maintained and propagated by a private biologist.

It is a very good summary of the problem, so consider checking out this Fish and Wildlife service document.

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