Justin Gerlach work on Partula snails
Partula tree snails and the Euglandina threat
Partula snails Partula conservation Euglandina

Partula snail research by Justin Gerlach

  • Snailing round the South Seas: a popular science book based around the Partula story
  • Partula - icons of evolution: a monograph on the evolution and diversity of the Partulidae

    My involvement with Partula conservation dates back to 1992 when I studied the ecology of Euglandina in order to answer fundamental questions about its biology and impacts. My Euglandina research hoped to find some way of controlling the predator, but sadly I had to conclude that it is there to stay. During that research I traveled to Polynesia to investigate the situation in the islands and to rescue any last surviving Partula. I concentrated on the island of Raiatea, one of the last to be invaded by Euglandina and the centre of Partula diversity. Before Euglandina arrived in about 1984 Raiatea had been home to 33 species of Partula. In 1992 I collected the very last surviving animals; 88 snails belonging to just three species!

    The last survivors (1992):

    Partula faba Partula 'dentifera' Partula labrusca