Giant African land snails are presently listed as one of the most invasive species known to science. Recent news from India inform us that these creatures are now living up to their reputation, meaning that they are pretty much taking over the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Apparently, concerns with respect to this species population in India were first raised back in 2010. However, it is only now that both high officials and locals are beginning to realize just how real the threat they are facing is.
This is because researchers have recently found that the snails have spread from the region of Indore (i.e. the largest city of said state) to Dhamod and Bhopal.
What specialists are first and foremost worried about is the fact that these giant land snails typically snack on about 500 different types of vegetation. Thus, they pose significant threat to local ecosystems.
As well as this, some of their favorite dishes include crops, meaning that harvests in this part of the world could also be affected by this invasive species.
Specialists warn that some of these snails could also prove threatening to public health, given the fact that several studies have shown that a parasitic nematode they might be carrying can cause people to become sick with meningitis.
Each of these snails has both male and female reproductive organs, and lays about 1,200 eggs on a yearly basis.
Times of India
quotes specialist Pankaj Shrivastav, who made a case of how, “Recent reporting of GALS once again from Bhopal and Dhamod should be considered as an alarm signal warranting need of a proper study followed by prophylactic and remedial measures.”
Given the fact that this particular species is a serious danger to both agriculture and public health, it is to be expected that authorities will be quick in dealing with this problem.