They’re among the smallest animals on our planet, measuring from 1cm to 2cm in size. However, the current return of 1000’s of tiny tropical tree snails to French Polynesia represents one of many highest reintroduction programs ever tried by conservationists.
More significant than 15,000 partula snails – bred by a complete of 16 key worldwide conservation organizations, together with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and Edinburgh, Chester and Amsterdam zoos – have been shipped out to Polynesia over the previous five years. Several weeks in the past, the newest arrivals – more significant than 4,000 Partula Rosea and Partula Varia snails – had been launched on the islands of Huahine and Moorea within the Society Islands. (The archipelago, which incorporates Tahiti and Bora Bora and covers a space of 1,600 sq km within the South Pacific, is famous for its coral-fringed lagoons and rugged mountains.)For efforts of this magnitude to be expended on such a tiny creature could appear uncommon. However, wildlife specialists say partulas are of crucial scientific significance.
“Partula snails are extremely invaluable to the scientific group,” mentioned Paul Pearce-Kelly, a senior ZSL curator. “They’ve been studied for greater than a century as a result of their remoted habitat offers good circumstances for learning evolution. They’re the Darwin finches of the snail world.”Partula snails even have a significant cultural significance in Polynesia. Their shells have been used to make necklaces and crowns, and as every island has its specific species of partula, this stuff had particular significance as ceremonial items.
Partula is named after a Roman goddess of childbirth as a result of they offer to reside beginning whereas most snail species lay eggs. Partula attains sexual maturity aged one yr and dwells for as much as ten years, grazing algae from the floor of leaves in forests on Pacific islands. Their demise within the wild was led to by a botched land administration scheme last century