| Ford Church

New Zealand Mud Snail Action Project, 2nd Quarter 2006

The Issue

The New Zealand Mud Snail is
an invasive species that has been spreading through
Western United States rivers and lakes for over a decade now. Recently, this species has been detected in a
section of Boulder Creek and one other river in
Colorado. Because this
species is so resilient both in and out of the water, it is a major concern for
local wildlife biologists. 

The Project

We wanted to raise awareness
of this issue for as many people as possible. However, through our research of the topic we discovered that the main
agents of transmission of these species from one waterway to another are people
and animals. More specifically, we
learned that anglers and people’s pets are the primary means of transport due
to their significant contact with the water’s ecosystem. Based on these factors, we decided to target
the angling and pet owners community for our educational campaign. Before putting together information and
fliers we spoke to a number of experts on the issue and even were lucky enough
to have Dan Shaeffer, a wildlife biologist, come in and talk to us about how
Boulder is dealing with this problem. We spent two weeks researching the issue and
putting together fliers and designs for T-shirts and stickers to be offered at
local angling and pet stores. The
community members we contacted for this project were very supportive and were
more than happy to help us get information out to the general public. We were really surprised with how many people
were willing to help us get this message out and it made us realize that what
we were doing really affected our community. 

What You Need To Know
About The
New Zealand Mud Snails


Native to New Zealand, these snails create a major threat to our waters by
competing with native invertebrates for food and habitat, affecting vegetation
and other native biota, and can be detrimental to fish populations. These snails can live for weeks without water
and often attach themselves to your shoes, fishing gear, and pets. This enables the snails to spread easily from
one location to another. The mud snail
reproduces through asexual reproduction (cloning). This enables the snails to spread
rapidly. In fact, one snail can spawn
over 400,000 snails per square meter. This map shows the growth rate of the locations mud snails have been
found in the Western States from 1995 to 2007.

Categories: Action Projects

Back to Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.