Today, the beautiful and uniquely evolved tree snails of Hawaii are in desperate shape. While Oahu used to have nearly 42 different snails, there remain now only about 7-8 snails and all but two are endangered. Unfortunately, these predatory snails prefer to hunt native snails and are creditted with the further decline of kahuli and extinction of other native snail species. David Sischo works in a 44-foot green trailer in Kailua, Oahu. With more than 40 listed endangered and threatened snail species in Hawaii and the Pacific Islands, we, with partners, work to conserve endangered and threatened snails and their habitats and ecosystems. The baby snails are born live with their tiny shells intact. Many of these arboreal snails are sinistral or left-handed in their spiral shell coiling, whereas most gastropod shells are dextral. This genus of tree snails is endemic to Hawaii, and all extant species are endangered.They were once abundant and were mentioned extensively in Hawaiian folklore and songs, and their shells were used in lei and other ornaments.. After years of caring for the snail, Sischo felt a great void left by George’s passing. Although native snails are sometimes found on non-native plants it is not known if the fungus on these introduced species is sufficient to support healthy populations. The collectors are gone but the tiny amount of native habitat left is populated with rats and carnivorous snails. HIKE: Kalāwahine Trail, Tantalus, O‘ahu WHEN: May 2015 LENGTH: 2.5 miles roundtrip DIFFICULTY: Easy FEATURES: Native trees and plants, birds, valleys and gulches, tree snails, feral pigs.. We really weren’t planning to hike that day. In 2018, he witnessed the ending of the last Achatinella apexfulva, a 14-year-old snail named George. This carnivorous snail is a major predator of kahuli that was originally brought to Hawaii in the 1950s from Florida to control a population explosion of African snails. Adult snails are hermaphroditic and can live for many years, although growth O‘ahu tree snails are nocturnal and graze on fungus that grows on the leaves of native plants. George the tree snail (Achatinella apexfulva) died on January 1, 2019, at the age of 14.He was the last snail of his species, and is emblematic of the loss of native Hawaiian mollusks. Hawaiian tree snails don’t eat plants, they scrape algae off the surface of … Snails. We also saw many tiny tornatellinid snails on the same trees — in the photo above, the tiny brown dot on the leaf immediately above the kuhuli is a tornatellinid snail. Source: Wikimedia Commons The snails of Oahu are dwindling. And before them, the snails. O‘ahu tree snails are nocturnal and graze on fungus that grows on the leaves of native plants. In a few years the euglandia made its way from the lowlands up into the native forests and remaining pockets of native snails disappeared. These snails remain in captivity at the University of Hawaii, where breeding efforts are underway to increase populations to be re-introduced in the wild. Most Oahu tree snails will attach to the leaves of one tree and stay on that tree for the rest of their lives, which can a long time. Although native snails are sometimes found on non -native plants it is not known if the fungus on these introduced species is sufficient to support healthy populations. These snails remain in captivity at the University of Hawaii, where breeding efforts are underway to increase populations to be re-introduced in the wild. How many species remain? It just sort of happened. While Oahu used to have nearly 42 different snails, there remain now only about 7-8 snails and all but two are endangered. 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