Deadly Snails Invade South America

The snail called achentina fulica has an ability to multiply at a high speed. These snails having an average size of a few inches, reach maturity after a year and can then produce 200-300 eggs a month, leading to huge infestations within a short space of time. The snails, which are native to East Africa, appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's list of the world's top 100 invasive species.

In one Colombian town alone, Buenaventura, more than eight tonnes of snails have been collected since an invasion began two years ago. In Ecuador the problem is so widespread that they have been found in half of the country's 24 provinces, including the Galapagos Islands.

The snails are not just an unsightly pest. They can also kill. They caused three deaths in Ecuador, out of almost 100 documented cases of the disease in the country.


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