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Apple Snails and the Everglades

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:38 am
by flaringshutter
Found this today. Very interesting!

http://uwf.edu/uwfMain/press/topstoryar ... ilID=16597

Date:
Subject: Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Apple Snail Research Provides Clues for Wetland Restoration and Water Management
Apple Snail Research Provides Clues for Wetland Restoration and Water Management
By Jenny Pedraza, Marketing Communications
The installation of canals, levees and water control structures have altered Florida's wetlands, changing water levels in the Everglades and the state's many lake systems. The man-made structures have also altered the natural habitats of various fauna. The State of Florida, along with federal agencies, is spending billions of dollars in an effort to restore Florida's wetlands and water systems to their natural conditions. But how do we know what the natural condition is and when we've restored it?
The research Philip Darby, a University of West Florida Biology professor, is conducting on the Florida Apple Snail may provide that clue. Apple snails are large round snails found primarily in peninsular Florida, with scattered populations in the panhandle, and also in Southeast Georgia. They live in spring-fed rivers, but are most commonly found in lakes, ponds and in wetlands. They are an important food source for many wetland animals.
"Basic research on apple snails helps us understand how wetland animals respond to changes in water levels and changes in habitat," said Darby. "The apple snail has been identified as an important 'performance measure' for success in the restoration and management of these wetlands."
For the past six years, Darby has conducted research on the snail in Central Florida lakes and has studied apple snails and their predators since 1993. Funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC), approximately $200,000 has been awarded since 2001. Darby and his team of associates, students and volunteers estimate snail population density with throw traps and a dip net. By monitoring egg cluster production, they create statistical models that relate apple snail density and reproduction to water level, plant species and other environmental parameters.
"The overall goal of my research is to provide basic information on the ecology of apple snails and to also provide information that assists the FFWCC in managing lake water levels and habitat quality in support of apple snails and their predators," said Darby.
Darby also uses his research to provide real-world experience for undergraduate students and research experience for graduate students.
"I use apple snails as examples of the research process in all my classes," Darby said. "It adds to the classroom experience because I provide real-world experiences and examples of the challenges associated with conducting research in ecology, including all the problems you can encounter, even sinking airboats."
For more information, contact Darby at (850) 474-2647 or e-mail pdarby@uwf.edu.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:14 am
by rpilla001
Thanks,

That is an article I had not seen. The Florida Applesnail is indeed an impotant food source.

Alligators think of them as M&Ms. Crunchy outershell, soft and delicious in the middle.

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:40 pm
by Pollux
hehehehhe :D

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:25 pm
by Annie Anderson
Well, I'll never feel the same about M&M's again :roll:

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:11 am
by Clutch
rpilla001 wrote:Thanks,

That is an article I had not seen. The Florida Applesnail is indeed an impotant food source.

Alligators think of them as M&Ms. Crunchy outershell, soft and delicious in the middle.


I'm curious to know what other animals prey on the apple snail?
The alligators that eat apple snails must be the small ones. :wink:

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:26 am
by badflash
I recently watched a Snail Kite take a few apple snails. Quite impressive.