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Aug 16, 2013

French Polynesia's Endemic Tree Snails

ZSL London Zoo's long-term action plan for French Polynesia's endemic tree snails

This project concerns French Polynesian Partulid tree snails (covering 20 taxa in the EEP breeding programme and a further 56 associated range species).
Also Trochomorpha tree snails (covering 2 known surviving Tahitian species and a further 2 associated range species).

In addition to helping ensure the survival of 20 Partulid taxa the five BIAZA Institutions have been 
the driving force behind the long-running in situ conservation effort for French Polynesia’s endemic tree snail species. This has been the case throughout the initial crisis rescue phase (1985 – 1996) and the investigation of predator spread and mitigation phase (1994 – 2003). This continuity of effort forged strong in situ relationships with a diverse range of individuals, NGO’s and Governmental agencies, essential for taking the conservation process forward.

A commission from the Delegation a l’ Environnement de Polynesie Francaise to undertake three-years intensive survey work (2003 – 2005) and to develop an action plan for the Government to conserve the region’s endemic tree snails and their montane forest habitats was a major conservation breakthrough and provided the mechanism by which the EEP and SSP Partulid populations can eventually be reintroduced.

The extensive species status data obtained during this project was also used to review the IUCN Red List category status of the region’s Partulid species.

The success of the project is perhaps best measured by a three year follow up commission (2006 – 2009) from the French Polynesian Government to help take forward the implementation elements of the Action Plan.

Without the collaborative effort of the Partulid Programme member institutions these achievements could not have been realised. The strategy of pooled resource support to realise conservation outcomes beyond the capacity of individual programme partners (including Governmental) provides a valuable case study for other conservation programmes.   

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