Hawaii mourns last known survivor of snail species

The last Hawaiian land snail belonging to the species Achatinella apexfulva recently died, leaving none of its kind behind. ©Robert Linsdell

The last snail belonging to the species Achatinella apexfulva in Hawaii died New Year’s Day at 14 years old, according to researchers with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. The snail, named George after the Pinta Island tortoise known as Lonesome George, was the only survivor of 10 snails that were brought to a University of Hawaii lab in 1997. The snail was often featured in newspapers, magazines and other outlets, since it was the last of its kind and was an example of land snails declining in the state. Researchers say the species’ decline was caused in part by people collecting the snails for their shells and to use on leis. Climate change and habitat loss also led to their demise. “The remaining land snails in Hawaii face imminent extinction threats from invasive species and climate change,” the Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a press release.

Read more in Gizmodo.