Partula return to Tahiti
In July 2015 captive-bred Partula snails were returned to Tahiti. 100 snails were released into a predator-proof reserve and 150 into an area of forest. Three species were released: Partula hyalina, P. affinis and P. nodosa. P. hyalina still survives in a few places on Tahiti and there is one surviving P. affinis population, but it is 30 years since there have been any P. nodosa on the island.
Reintroductions are always difficult to carry out and to monitor; the animals have to adjust to the new conditions and then have to be located. The early stages are relatively easy with snails as they move slowly, in fact it may take several days for them to leave the pot they have been living in. Once they start dispersing they become increasingly difficult to find. The Partula release seems to have gone well; many have dispersed considerable distances (for snails) and have been seen feeding. In both the forest area and the reserve 30% of the snails could still be found 2 weeks after release, and it is thought that many more were hidden in dense vegetation or in the canopy.
Reports on the 2015 release and further reintroducitons in 2016 have been published in Tentacle (see 2015 and 2016 issues).
Compiled by Justin Gerlach: contact
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