National assessment done on potential invasive snail and slug pests in US

Jul 31, 2009

A collaborative team led by a University of Hawai'i at Manoa researcher has published the first-ever assessment of snail and slug species that are of potential threat to the nation's agriculture industry and the environment, should they ever be introduced in the U.S.

The July 2009 article in the American Malacological Bulletin is authored by snail/slug biologist Robert H. Cowie of the UH Manoa Center for Conservation Research and Training (CCRT) and his team. They evaluated all known snail and slug pests globally to determine which species would be of greatest concern if introduced nationally, in terms of their potential impacts on U.S. agriculture and the environment.

Cowie's collaborators are Robert. T. Dillon of the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and two U.S. Department of Agriculture invasive pest experts, David G. Robinson and James W. Smith.

The evaluation of snails and slugs from around the world was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to UH Manoa and the American Malacological Society. The research is intended to be a tool for national inspection officials, in their efforts to keep such invasive pest species out of the country.

"The study is preliminary because of the serious lack of basic knowledge of many of these potentially ," said Cowie, chair of the Ecology, Evolution and graduate program at UH Manoa. "Nevertheless, it is an important first step. We hope it will not only be invaluable information to protect the U.S., but also to serve as a stimulus to increase research efforts regarding these poorly understood animals."

Source: University of Hawaii at Manoa

Explore further: Experts 'grasping at straws' to save near-extinct rhino

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Glimmer of hope for Tahitian tree snails' survival

Jul 02, 2007

Despite the mass extermination of Tahiti’s unique species of tree snails in recent decades, much of their original genetic diversity can still be found in remnant populations that survive on the island, researchers report ...

Recommended for you

Study finds tropical fish moving into temperate waters

1 hour ago

Tropical herbivorous fish are beginning to expand their range into temperate waters – likely as a result of climate change – and a new international study documents the dramatic impact of the intrusion ...

Warming leads to more run-ins with polar bears

5 hours ago

Word spread quickly: a polar bear, then two, were spotted near this remote Inuit village on the shores of Hudson Bay, about 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles) north of Montreal.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.