Friday, October 26, 2007
The Winona Daily News is reporting that an invasive snail is to blame for the thousands of waterfowl that have been found dead in the Mississippi River. Wildlife officials say that the faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) carries intestinal parasites - birds that ingest them can die in a single day. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any way to control this European species, introduced to the US in the late 1800s, without negatively impacting native snails. At least birds of prey appear to be immune to the parasites, a good thing since eagles and other predators have been swooping in to make easy meals of the dying waterfowl.
Labels: birds, mollusks, pathogens, snails
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