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Mass extinction victim survives! Snail long thought extinct, isn't
Date:6/3/2011

student Jingchun Li and collection coordinator Taehwan Lee were able to confirm the identity in addition to performing detailed morphometric and DNA analyses.

"This is very good news," Foighil said. "With conservation biology, usually it's all gloom and doom, but this is one of those rare events where we have something positive to say."

But just because survivors have been found, does that mean the species can continue to survive?

"I think they can, because of two things," Foighil said. "We have a persistent population in this little tributary, but we also now have in place the infrastructure for their captive breeding and reintroduction to other tributaries."

This snail tale might well serve as an object lesson, Foighil said. "The industrialization of freshwater watersheds that happened across the U.S. in the last century is now happening all over the world. For instance, right now one of the most egregious examples is the ongoing damming of the Mekong, and there are likely thousands of endemic species there. Even though we're now more aware of this---of the negative downsides---when it comes to issues of economic development, freshwater biodiversity almost always loses."


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Contact: Nancy Ross-Flanigan
rossflan@umich.edu
734-647-1853
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert  

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Mass extinction victim survives! Snail long thought extinct, isn't
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