Watching Hawaii’s last snails disappear

Oahu tree snails. ©Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resource Conservation

Snails once abounded in Hawaii. Some 750 species inhabited the islands. But these species have been disappearing in recent decades as predators cause their populations to go extinct. Rats, chameleons and the rosy wolf snail (Euglandina rosea) have impacted their populations, which are slow to breed and confined to specific areas. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resource Conservation is working to save these native snails. “I think everyone, when they hear about something going extinct, thinks that there’s time,” program coordinator David Sischo told the Atlantic. “But we’re the last people who can do anything about this.” The Hawaii Chapter of The Wildlife Society recently held a workshop on identifying native snails.

Read more about Hawaii’s efforts in the Atlantic here.