Is There Any Threat To Snails Existence?

Is There Any Threat To Snails Existence?
Is There Any Threat To Snails Existence?

The answer to the question; ‘are there threat to snails existence?’ depends on the specie of snail, our activities and the natural environment. There are many threat to snails existence and you would be surprised!

Snails have been in existence for ages and have adopted many adaptability skills to remain in existence. However, various activities; natural and manmade are making some species of these creatures become endangered and tend towards extinction.

Snails are small, slow paced creatures with no big body structure to fight off predators like other animals such as bears and this make them vulnerable to predators such as ants, termites, millipede, rats etc all feast on the snail.

Are There Threats To Snails Existence?
Are There Threats To Snails Existence?

Activities of man such as infrastructural development, industrial activities all pose a threat to the existence of these creatures. Man affects the snail’s natural environment and reduces the snail population as well as reproductive processes.

Survival Skills Of Snails

Snails are nocturnal animals which mean they are active at night. Snails are also seasonal; abundant in the dry season and almost not to be sighted during the dry season. During this dry period, they produce a whitish thin layer of mucus to cover them and hid in their shell until the next raining season.

Snails have adapted many ways to survive for ages such as aestivation by not drying out during unfavourable weather conditions. This is their main survival mode for millions of years.

Naturally, snails have a long life span compared to their size. Snails can live for up to 25years in captivity but in the wild, till man or other predator picks them up. Some snail Species though have a shorter cycle of 5years.

Are There Threats To Snails Existence?
Snail Reproduction: Mating Process

Snails are hermaphrodites; they mate with one another and both lay eggs up to 200 at once, twice in a year. This is another factor why snail extinction is still pretty tough; they reproduce in high numbers.

Significance Of Snails In Nature

Snails are environmental friendly creatures although they can be pests on a farm. Snails help to answer many questions in biodiversity, serve as indicators when something is wrong in the environment and how life on earth is progressing.

Snails in the ocean for example build their shells from calcium carbonate, when this is not possible or their shells are not as strong as is expected, it poses a question of ‘what is happening in the ocean?’

Land snails on the other hand also tell us that the environment is not suitable for them when they start dying off. Snails therefore are good indicators of what our environment is and the safety therein.

Subtle activities of man affects these creatures and they in turn speak out by moving away from environments not conducive for them and in worst case scenario, they start to die off.

 Human Activities Endangering Snail Existence

Activities of man are the greatest threat to the existence of snails and other creatures. Civilization, industrialization and even agricultural activities are all ways by which snails are getting endangered.

The rates at which the snails are under threat differ from region to region but the resulting effect is still the same. Activities are grouped according to the categories such as industrial; agricultural; civilization. Listed below are examples of man’s activities that affect survival of snails:

Agricultural Activities Threatening Snails Existence

Agriculture is the rearing of crops and animals for domestic and commercial purposes. In other to make more profit, there are unhealthy chemicals used both on plants and soil to boost production. Some of the agricultural activities include:

  1. Use of harmful pesticides to ward away crop pests which include snails as snails are known to feed on leaves and vegetables. These pesticides do not only kill the pests, they change the soil pH making the soil unsuitable for snail rearing.
  2. The use of harmful fertilizers especially in large scale crop production to boost growth. These chemicals adversely affect the ecosystem.
  3. Bush burning practices in preparation for a new planting season or hunting of wild animals. The snails are burnt and exposed to harsh environment.
  4. The use of inorganic chemicals which eventually leaches into the soil destroys the snail’s natural habitat and can prevent their eggs from hatching.

Industrial Activities Threatening Snail Existence

Everyone wants to live in the urban centers leaving only the aged in the villages. This has adversely affected the green environment through various activities which includes:

  1. Falling of trees for road construction, building of factories, houses, shopping malls, schools etc which is called deforestation. Snails live in wet grasses and this is impossible on a concrete floor or asphalt roads.
  2. Industrial waste disposal into water bodies which in turn washes away into the ocean body makes sea snails endangered.

    Are There Threats To Snails Existence?
    Sea Snail With Shell Being Dissolved
  3. Vehicle exhaust also changes the air components and this in turn affects oxygen which is needed by the organisms.

Civilization Practices Threatening Snails Existence

This is not too different from industrial activities. Increased modernization can pose a threat to the survival of snails. Let’s take a look;

  1. Population growth and increased demand for animal protein. Snails are picked up in bushes around residential areas no matter their age. This is a cheap source of protein that would be enjoyed throughout the rainy season thereby not making the snails reach maturity and a threat to snail existence.
  2. Unavailability of quality snail feed mills. Due to the fact that snails eat various leaves and fruits such as pawpaw, some snail farmers do not even care to formulate quality meals for their snails. This can lead to mortality, low quality snail meats and threat to snail existence.

Natural Factors Threatening  Snail Existence

Natural factors can also pose a threat to snail extinction. Occasionally though, activities of man can still be traced when there are natural disasters, yet, nature can decide to play some tricks. Natural or environmental factors affecting the existence of snail include:

  1. Climate changes and seasons. Snails are seasonal creatures favouring the rainy season and going into hiding during the dry season. These seasons can become shorter or longer than expected depending on what nature has in store.
  2. Extreme temperature. Snails need lower temperature for maximum body functions. Higher temperature makes the snails heat stressed which threaten their life and result in snail population being reduced drastically.

    Are There Threats To Snails Existence?
    Are There Threats To Snails Existence? Snails Aestivating
  3. Other animals also pose a threat to snail’s existence such as predators e.g. rats, ants, millipedes’ e.t.c.
  4. Snails can also be prone to the waste of other organisms and get infected. Example is the rat lung worm disease, an infection transmitted when snails come in contact with rat faeces.
  5. Type of soil. Snails thrive on loamy soil and barely on other type of soil. The soils also have to be treated to meet their requirement for survival especially in captivity.

Conclusion

Snail’s existence can be threatened if adequate care is not taken by all and sundry. These environmental friendly animals play a vital role in the ecosystem and not just as delicacy or raw material for industries.

Is There Any Threat To Snails Existence?
Is There Any Threat To Snails Existence?

Activities of man should be monitored and alternatives should be used when it concerns nature because we also exist in nature because these creatures do!

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