Apple Snails Invade Florida

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Apple Snails Invade Florida

Postby rpilla001 on Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:39 am

I saw a short documentry this afternoon on invasive species in South Florida. One of the subject animals were Apple snails from south America and Asia being released into the wild.

I came across this web site and thought some of you might like to see it. Has a great photo of a fist sized cana, and egg clutches by the millions. Also contains some PDF files published by the State.

http://www.iswgfla.org/Channeled%20applesnails.htm
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Postby Iris on Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:20 am

WOW, :o that is a lot of clutches on that tree....
No wonder that there have been regulations etc released in the US recently.

That just showes why you shouldn't release your pets into the wild.... :angry:
Now Florida has to deal with that.... which makes me wonder: are they still legal there?


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Postby Pamelajo on Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:31 am

Thanks for sharing that.
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Postby pbgroupie on Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:39 am

Dang, those pictures say it all. :o Every single tree was covered in pink eggs at the base! They are still legal to own in Florida, but not to ship out of state, release into the wild, etc. Beyond that one bird (the Kike) that eats snails, do they have any other natural preditors?
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Postby rpilla001 on Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:22 pm

There is an eagle called the Osprey. It was on the endangered species list due to pesticide poisoning in the mid 1950's through the 70's. It primarily eats snails and small fish in the everglades and small fresh water estuaries. We also have some Bald Eagles in Central Florida that have been known to dine on snails, even though it is not their primary diet.
The Osprey population has not grown to a point that they can even put a dent into such an explosion of snail population.

Now that I know more about apple snails, I am surprised that none of the LFS sell any of the native apple snails. I will of course keep my Marisa snails safe and not dump them into the canals. It makes me worry about the 200 juveniles I brought back to the LFS, and what will happen with them. In the future, as much as it pains me, I will kill off the egg clutches so as not to propagate this problem.
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Postby paulzie32 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 1:15 pm

HAHAHAHA!!! This is kinda funny... look at this

http://www.iswgfla.org/files/UF%20apple%20snails%20of%20Fla.pdf
Scroll down to page two and read what it says under Figure 4.
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Postby rpilla001 on Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:50 pm

Yes, it seems someone did not proof read, or does not know the working end of a snail from the hard crucnchy end.

And what in Lords name is rat lung worm? It sounds positively disgusting!!!! :err:
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Postby snail_overload on Sat Jul 22, 2006 5:50 pm

Turtles absolutely loooovvee eating snails. That's at least another predator. :wink:
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Postby wyofish on Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:50 am

Spiketopped applesnail? I've never heard brigs called that! Why do they call them that? (page one of paulzie's link)
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Postby Pamelajo on Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:52 am

I have heard it. I think it is because in comparision to a cana it sphere sticks out so much more.
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Postby SnailMomma on Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:41 am

Somebody somewhere forgot to ask a snail person about why they call it a channel... lol! I tell you, we have just seen the door open to a bunch MORE mis-information!
Thanks Paulzie, for the link!
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Postby paulzie32 on Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:08 am

Hey RPilla - The bird that Primarily eats the snails (P. paludosa) is the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis )

Image

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) primarily eats fish... but it may eat snails too... I don't know.

Image
ImageImage

Very Impressive bird
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Postby luvfishies on Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:30 am

Gosh I loooooove birds of Prey. Fab photos!
>>-)))o> skwij <--CLICK!
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Postby rpilla001 on Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:44 am

Thanks for the additional Info. I am not familiar with the Kite. I will have to look into it and see what their range is. Do you know if they get as far south as the Everglades?

Yes the Osprey do eat primarily fish but in the dryer seasons in the everglades they will dine quite well on snails as well. I am not sure about northern Florida

One of the primary causes from the pesticide poisoning was not from the fish but rather from the snails. However, it has been quite sometime since I have been concerned with the plight of the Osprey and my memory may be defective. I think the last documentry I was saw was almsot 20 years ago :snail: :toomuch:

I will seee if I can drag up this old documentry and refresh my mind. I think one day about 5 years ago it became full and I have been dumping files from my mental recycle bin ever since.. But I digress. :D
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Postby paulzie32 on Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:21 pm

Yeah... All they way through the Everglades and south. It is also known as the Everglades Kite.
Image
Image
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Snail_Kite.html#map - It states #map, but it's not just the map, it's an information page ;-)

Interesting about the Osprey.... If it was the snails, I would think they would have been More affected by DDT in Florida than elsewhere in the country. Osprey range over Most of the US and they don't eat or even find applesnails over most of their range but were affected by DDT as well... The link above Does state the Snail kite is listed as "Federal and State Endangered" but it doesn't mention if it's because of DDT poisoning... This site (http://cars.er.usgs.gov/sofla/Snail_Kite/snail_kite.html) however, Does state their decline was in large part due to the draining of the Everglades. If it was the snails, I would have thought it would have been mentioned and they would have been affected more dramatically than the Osprey, and maybe even wiped out completely since it is their main food source.
The Cornell University site states Osprey eat fish Almost Exclusively and makes up 99% of their diet. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/osprey.html#map
Another large bird of prey that was seriously affected by DDT was the Bald Eagle, which also eats a lot of fish... I think the documentary may have been incorrect about the snails being the main source of their DDT poisoning... Fish are notorious for concentrating toxins in the environment... The smaller fry get contaminated by the food they eat, the larger fry eat them and add to the amounts they already have, the larger ones eat them and so on until you have a large fish with VERY high levels of contaminants... Same happens with mercury. I thought I remembered learning that's why the Eagle and the Osprey were so affected.
Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly?
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