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Partners for Wildlife


Endangered Partula Snails


International Partula tree snail program is working to save:

Snails in the genus Partula
There are 17 species of Partula currently in captive breeding programs.

Averaging only about .5 inch in shell length, partulid snails live on the stems, trunks, and leaves of many plant species. The snails remain fastened to the undersides of leaves during dry periods but emerge to feed and mate when it rains, mostly at night. More than 100 species of Partula once existed on islands stretching across the South Pacific from Palau to French Polynesia. Now, nearly 70 percent of these species are extinct in the wild.

Currently, six zoos in the U.S. participates in the captive-breeding Species Survival Plan for the Partula nodosa (extinct in the wild): Akron Zoo, Detroit Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Roger Williams Park Zoo, St. Louis Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo.


Valleys and forested slopes of volcanic islands of the South Pacific, particularly the Society Islands of French Polynesia, including Tahiti.

Critical threats to wildlife:

  • Habitat loss

  • Introduction of an invasive predatory snail (in the mid 1970s the rosy wolf snail (Euglandina rosea) was introduced to a number of Pacific islands to control another invasive species, the giant African land snail (Lissachatina fulica). Unfortunately, the predator ignored its intended victim, and has instead caused the extinction of over 50 Partulid species)


Partula snail

Partula nodosa is one of 17 species in the international captive breeding program. P. nodosa is currently bred in 6 U.S. zoos and is extinct in the wild.

Field surveys on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea have revealed both previously unrecorded populations of Partula and the devastation of habitat destruction and introduced predators. Dr. Trevor Coote has conducted these surveys for the project over the last several years.


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