Thanks to Sally Warr for sending me this incredible story.
You’re looking at something VERY special – the FIRST Desertas Island snails ever to hatch outside of their homeland, anywhere in the world!
And aren’t they TINY?! (Yes, that’s a 5p coin) 😲
These snails were thought to have been EXTINCT for more than 100 years. But, our conservation friends in Portugal, where the snails live, have just rediscovered a small population still alive on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean.
We’ve now joined a RESCUE MISSION to help save them… and these baby snails are a HUGE boost! 🐌❤️️
The Desertas Island land snails – thought to have
disappeared altogether, having not been recorded
living for more than 100 years.
Invertebrate experts at Chester Zoo and Bristol
Zoological Society have created special breeding
centres which closely replicate the perfect conditions for the snails to reproduce and thrive.
Now, the snails are part of a unique conservation
recovery plan supported by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Around 60
individuals from each group were carefully collected from the island and flown 1 ,500 miles to the UK, where specialists at Chester Zoo and Bristol Zoological Society are leading the last ditch attempt to boost numbers and save the species.
Tiny arrival alert! A baby Desertas Island snail shortly after hatching at Chester Zoo.
The Desertas Islands where the last remaining snail
populations were rediscovered each consisting of
around 300 individuals. The snails were thought to
have been extinct for more than 100 years until they
were found on an isolated island in the North Atlantic Ocean. Picture credit: (Thiaao de Zoeten)