Bermuda: 'Extinct' snail found living in alley

Hamilton, Bermuda Image copyright Wikimedia/Mfdii
Image caption Hamilton, Bermuda: Home to not-so-extinct snails

A snail which conservationists thought was extinct has been found living in an alley in Bermuda, it's been reported.

The species of Bermudian land snail, known as Poecilozonites bermudensis, hadn't been seen on the island for more than 40 years. But now a colony of the creatures has been found flourishing in a "damp and overgrown alleyway" in the capital city, Hamilton, by a local resident, the Royal Gazette website reports. "For it to be found in Hamilton is unbelievable. It's the last place you would imagine that a small colony of rare snails would be discovered," says Dr Mark Outerbridge of the government's Conservation Service. It's thought that by choosing a concrete home, the snails were protected from the predators that wiped out the rest of their population, Dr Outerbridge says.

London Zoo began a Bermudian land snail programme in 2004, to help protect what was thought to be the last remaining species, Poecilozonites circumfirmatus, from extinction. The Poecilozonites family was once so common in Bermuda that they were burned for limestone, according to the Bermuda Sun. In 1951, another of the island's native species, the Bermuda Petrel, was rediscovered. Until then it was thought the seabird, also known as the cahow, had become extinct in the 1600s.

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