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Snails slow death; FEARS THAT ONE THIRD OF IRELAND SPECIES WILL BE EXTINCT.

Byline: SARAH BARDON

ONE third of snails in Ireland are at risk of becoming extinct, it was warned yesterday.

Research compiled by the National Biodiversity Data Centre said declining water quality, the building boom and certain agricultural and forestry practices are causing the species' decline.

A spokeswoman for the state body said: "One third of Ireland's snail, slug and bivalve fauna is under threat of extinction according to the recent Irish Red List by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, and the Conchological Society of Britain and Ireland.

"Ireland's non-marine mollusc fauna is of international importance."

Ireland is home to 150 types of snail. Researchers have found that two native species are extinct, five critically endangered, 14 endangered, 26 vulnerable and six "near-threatened".

The lapidary snail, once found only in a gorge of the River Blackwater at Fermoy in east Co Cork, has "not been seen alive since 1968". And the last recorded evidence of the mud pond snail was in 1979 before it was "lost to habitat destruction".

Snails on the "vulnerable list" include the whirlpool ram's horn traditionally found in clear, weedy water in larger streams, rivers and lakes.

CAPTION(S):

SNAILS Concern over their existence
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 21, 2010
Words:211
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