Environment Man Single-Handedly Saves a Species of Snail

The Helper

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Magnificent ramshorn snails aren't one of those high-profile endangered species that the conservationists community love to rally behind -- so thank goodness there are folks like Andy Wood. For the last several decades, the scientist from North Carolina has dedicated himself to saving the freshwater snails from extinction, and he's done so virtually single-handedly with the help of a kiddie-pool aquarium. In fact, Wood's efforts may be the only reason ramshorn snails are alive today, and that's a responsibility he doesn't take lightly. "I'm as beholden to this snail as the Cousteau Society is to the blue whale," says Wood, savior of a snail.

As a lifelong animal lover, Wood was inspired to his calling by fellow biologist Bill Adams. Back in 1986, Adams was performing a field survey of North Carolina's endangered crustaceans when, in just one pond in the state, he came across some ramshorn snails -- a species which had only rarely been observed in the wild since its discovery in 1908. After a failed attempt to breed them in captivity, Adams called Wood to see if he wanted to give it a try.

For the next few years, Wood figured out how to keep the rare snails comfortable in his son's wading pool, all the while their native habitat continued to dwindle from droughts in the region. During this time, Wood developed a strong affinity to the species.

Then, in 1996, a powerful hurricane swept through North Carolina and nearly wiped out Wood's aquariums, and inundated the wild snails' only remaining pond with saltwater. In a panic, Wood was able to salvage just 25 Magnificent ramshorn snails he'd been working so hard to save -- and from that small group he's helped them bounce back with even more homemade snail aquariums. Wood's efforts are made all the more important considering that since the hurricane, ramshorn snails have only been seen in the wild a handfull of times. With that in mind, snail-saving biologist has taken his work very, very seriously.

 
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Accname

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Why exactly are these snails dying out? Natural selection maybe? In this case what exactly are the benefits of keeping those snails alive? If they are not able to survive in their natural surroundings by the own anyways.
How many billions of species have gone extinct on earth by now? Do you really thing it would have been a wise decision to keep them all alive although they were doomed to die out by nature?

Would be different if the presence of this race of snails proves to be of "use" or to be important for the fauna and or flora of the region or even on world scale.
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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Eh... it's kinda cute. I would buy a few.
 

camelCase

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I instantly thought of "salt + snail" for some reason =/
Ew; horrid thought
 

Dan

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Why exactly are these snails dying out? Natural selection maybe? In this case what exactly are the benefits of keeping those snails alive? If they are not able to survive in their natural surroundings by the own anyways.
How many billions of species have gone extinct on earth by now? Do you really thing it would have been a wise decision to keep them all alive although they were doomed to die out by nature?

Would be different if the presence of this race of snails proves to be of "use" or to be important for the fauna and or flora of the region or even on world scale.
Accname supports snail genocide. Vote for me for the position of TH.N president in this upcoming election. I am anti genocide and pro life cereal.
 

FireCat

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Why exactly are these snails dying out? If they are not able to survive in their natural surroundings by the own anyways.
I'm pretty sure they can survive in their own habitat.
But I guess something went wrong. If so who you think caused it? hmm

Anyways. It doesn't hurt to try and save the little creature. Right? And maybe fix their habitat back, like it was before?!
 

Accname

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I'm pretty sure they can survive in their own habitat.
But I guess something went wrong. If so who you think caused it? hmm

Anyways. It doesn't hurt to try and save the little creature. Right? And maybe fix their habitat back, like it was before?!
First of all, the article says the swampy area in which they live is drowning, that means they die out because their natural habitat is changing and they are not evolving fast enough.

And furthermore, chances are equal that saving their lives and killing them all will be bad or good for the world as a whole. Fact is, you cannot tell what reactions will be caused by the actions you take. Maybe if we didnt save them by putting them in an artificial surrounding and keeping their numbers up this way, nature would respond with an evolutionary solution and create a new kind of snails which can survive in that area.
I cant tell what would or could happen, and you cant either. Might as well let those snails decide for themselfs.
 

Nigerianrulz

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i understand your point of view accname but their habitat is changing faster than they can evolve, the process of evolution doesn't occur in decades which would explain why so many species have died out since the humans began construction on just about everywhere. And i think your taking it too far when talking about the chain reaction for this decision, the snail are very low on the food chain and i dont know if it serves any special purpose to plants or whatever but with or without it shouldnt make too much difference.
 

Accname

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So you are saying we should just let them die out because they dont make any difference?

I think, if they die out there will be something new coming to make up for the loss. One race dies out, another one is born to fill the gap. Might take several houndred years, but who cares?
 
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