Invasive Giant African Land Snails sighted at Goa University

Sep 21, 2016 09:32 IST

The Giant African Land Snail (GALS) was spotted in the campus of the Goa University at Taleigao. GALS (Achatina fulica) is listed as one of the world’s 100 most invasive species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

This snail was spotted by Nandakumar Kamat, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Botany at the university.

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About Giant African Land Snail

• The species is a threat to agro-horticulture

• It is a threat to the public health as they act as a vector of human diseases like Eosinophilic meningitis, caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a parasite that nematode commonly, resides in the pulmonary arteries of rats.

• They range from 7 cm to 20 cm in length and in case of specimens in Goa they were of 11 cm in length.

• They are known to be dangerous, as they can reproduce faster and take over entire ecosystems and become a menace to crops.

Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native (alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm. They can harm the environment, the economy or even, human health.

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