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Predator, prey and pathogen interactions in introduced snail populations

  • J. Gerlach (a1)
Abstract

The introduction of the carnivorous snail Euglandina rosea to Pacific islands by biological control programmes has had a devastating effect on native snail populations. In most areas the target species, Achatina fulica, has not been affected, although some unsubstantiated reports have led to E. rosea being viewed as an effective control agent. Data from recent laboratory and field studies of E. rosea were combined into a simple model of the interactions between populations of E. rosea and A. fulica and a disease agent. Predictions from the model correspond closely with field data from a number of sites. The model suggests that apparent reductions in A. fulica numbers following E. rosea introduction are the result of a combination of predation and disease effects, and that although the maximum population levels are reduced the population is stabilized at a relatively high level. The model predicts that both A. fulica and E. rosea populations will persist. Partulidae will decline following E. rosea invasion although Samoana spp. may persist at reduced densities. More effective control of A. fulica can be achieved through manual collecting. Control of E. rosea requires the imposition of a significant novel mortality factor.

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Corresponding author
All correspondence to: J. Gerlach. Tel: 01223 246875; E-mail: jstgerlach@aol.com.
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Animal Conservation forum
  • ISSN: 1367-9430
  • EISSN: 1469-1795
  • URL: /core/journals/animal-conservation-forum
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