The Whisker Chronicles

Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.

Extinct in the Wild: Polynesian Tree Snail

Partula up close on a synthetic leaf backdrop. Photo by Ryan Hawk/WPZ. - See more at:

Partula up close on a synthetic leaf backdrop. Photo by Ryan Hawk/WPZ. – See more at:

Scientific Name: Partula nodosa

Historic Range and Habitat:  

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

What Polynesian Tree Snails Eat: 

Decaying plants and microscopic plants that they find on the larger plants where they live.

How Long Polynesian Tree Snails Live:  Up to 10 years.

Why Polynesian Tree Snails Are Extinct in the Wild: 

Loss of habitat and the introduction of the carnivorous Rosey wolfsnail, Euglandina rosea to control another invasive species, the giant African land snail (Lissachatina fulica). However, the Rosey wolfsnail preferred the smaller, slower Partulid species, including Partula nodosa.

Conservation of Polynesian Tree Snails: 

The Partulid Global Species Management Programme was established in 1994 and focuses on conservation and management of Partula tree snails in their native habitat. The program goal is to preserve and enhance the survival prospects of all surviving tree snails with a natural range in French Polynesia. This is done through a reestablishment program, regular monitoring of remnant populations, and surveys to maintain up-to-date information of the status of both native snail species and the pest snail species that can destroy native snail species.

Six zoos in the U.S. participate in the captive-breeding Species Survival Plan for the Partula nodosa: Akron Zoo, Detroit Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Roger Williams Park Zoo, St. Louis Zoo and Woodland Park Zoo.

Here is a video from Woodland Park Zoo detailing the daily care of snails.

2 comments on “Extinct in the Wild: Polynesian Tree Snail

  1. Pingback: Its a Zoo after all! Or is it? – Indigenous Nomad

  2. Pingback: Five of the Strongest Arguments Against Zoos – Dr. James Borrell

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This entry was posted on June 24, 2014 by in Extinct in the Wild, Insects, Wildlife and tagged , , , .
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