The Bermudan Snail was thought to be extinct until a small group of the species was found in an alley behind a restaurant in Bermuda’s capital city Hamilton in 2014. Some of these snails were taken into captivity in Bermuda to see if they could get them to breed. This successfully happened and then some of these offspring were sent to Chester Zoo as part of a breeding programme and to try and prevent the species from being wiped out. Breeding was so successful that over 4000 them were released back into a protected nature reserve called Nonsuch Island, Bermuda. It is hoped that with no known predators on the island that the species will be able to sustain itself and the threat of extinction will be gone forever. As they have such a lot of the snails the Bermudan Government is looking at releasing them onto other islands where they have no predators and the expectations are really high that they will do really well and numbers will continue to flourish.
Chester Zoo have now said that they have in excess of 13000 of the snails and that with the breeding programme it has successfully saved a species from extinction. We seem to see so many stories about animals being on the brink of extinction so it is good news when one has been saved. Lets hope that we can do the same with lots of the other animals that have desperately low numbers and are facing an uphill battle to keep the species going. People may not like zoos but it is often these breeding programmes that can save species and increase their population.
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