Endangered snail species returns to wild in Brunswick Co.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission announced on Friday, Nov. 17, that a federally endangered snail species was reintroduced to the wild in Brunswick County after 20 years of living in captivity.
“The Magnificent Ramshorn is a large freshwater snail, endemic (found nowhere else in the world) to the lower Cape Fear River basin in North Carolina. The snail is about 1.5 inches long when fully grown, with leopard-like spots on its shell and a rich, maroon-colored body,” the N.C. Wildlife release states.
On Thursday, 2,000 Magnificent Ramshorn snails were reintroduced into a pond on N.C. Wildlife Game Lands in Brunswick County.
“The snails are propagated at NCWRC’s Conservation Aquaculture Center in Marion, N.C., and transported across the state to the release site,” N.C. Wildlife states in its announcement. “This project is funded by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and is supported by a suite of partners including the Coastal Plain Conservation Group, USFWS, N.C. State University and the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point.”
N.C. Wildlife biologists will monitor the progress of the released snails, and more may be added to the pond in the future. Those interested in learning more and following the progress of the snails can do so here.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued the NCWRC a permit in October 2022 for reintroduction projects encompassing 21 aquatic species. The two agencies entered into an agreement allowing the NCWRC to extend assurances to participating nonfederal landowners for the reintroduction of the Magnificent Ramshorn under this permit. The snails made quite a splash by being the first of these 21 species in the state to take advantage of this new tool. In early October, a smaller batch of snails was placed in the pond to document how the animals would respond to their first foray in the wild. Monitoring surveys confirmed the stocking was a success. Staff then moved forward with the November 16 stocking of the additional snails,” the release adds.
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