Spread and control of the giant African snail in the Pacific
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CTA. 1997. Spread and control of the giant African snail in the Pacific. Spore 67. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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The spread of the giant African snail (Achatina fulica) across the Pacific islands is still causing concern because it feeds on, anddestroys, a wide range of crops and ornamental plants. Already present in 11 Pacific countries and territories, the...
The spread of the giant African snail (Achatina fulica) across the Pacific islands is still causing concern because it feeds on, and destroys, a wide range of crops and ornamental plants. Already present in 11 Pacific countries and territories, the giant African snail was detected most recently in Western Samoa towards the end of 1995 and in Tuvalu in May 1996. However, early detection and swift action taken by staff from the Agricultural Department working with the South Pacific Commission has resulted in eradication of the snail from the island of Vaitupu. It appears that the giant African snail spreads into new territories by hitching a lift on imported second-hand goods such as vehicles and machinery. It is essential for countries free of the pest to be particularly vigilant when importing these goods from countries where the giant African snail is already established and strict quarantine procedures should be followed. If the snail is detected, action must be taken quickly to prevent it from spreading. So far, there are no biological control agents effective against the giant African snail. Predatory snails were introduced to some areas but they were found to destroy populations of harmless indigenous snails. Chemical bait in the form of pellets (Blitzem) may be effective but must be used with care because the bait can affect people and domestic animals, and it can contaminate water supplies. Effective eradication requires community effort to search, collect and kill each snail by burning or by immersing in sea water. Clearing rubbish heaps and weeds also reduces the breeding sites of the snail. The South Pacific Commission calls for regional cooperation to prevent the further spread of this destructive pest. Newsletter of the South Pacific Commission Agriculture Programme Vol. 5 No. 1 August 1996 South Pacific Commission BP D5 98848 Noumea Cedex NEW CALEDONIA
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