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Since the disastrous introduction of the carnivorous snail Euglandina rosea to the islands of French Polynesia in the 1970s most of the species of endemic partulid tree snail have gone extinct. Fortunately, forward-thinking researchers began collecting individuals from the wild before they disappeared and these collections formed the foundation of an international breeding programme that has now lasted for almost 30 years.
For the last 15 years there has been close collaboration between the institutions involved in the breeding programme and the local government authorities overseeing conservation on the Territory. Since 2003 a resident biologist (Dr Trevor Coote), previously funded by the Environment Department of French Polynesia and with salary support from the Partulid Global Species Management Programme, has carried out extensive surveys to clarify the status of the remaining relict populations within their home range and that of Euglandina rosea and other threats to their survival. The groundwork has now been laid for the long-term conservation and management of the surviving endemic tree snails and their re-establishment back onto the host islands of species from the breeding programme.
The proposed Partula conservation project has four key objectives:
Project 13256542 location - French Polynesia, Oceania