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Conservation of Hawaiian Tree Snails: Slime Trail Component Analysis

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Title: Conservation of Hawaiian Tree Snails: Slime Trail Component Analysis
Authors: Cook, Angelie
Instructor: Holland, Brendan
Issue Date: 16 Jul 2013
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Of the 41 described species of Oahu tree snails (genus Achatinella) it is estimated that only 10 are extant. The exceedingly high extinction rate in this lineage led to the listing of the remaining species as endangered in 1981. The main threat to these arboreal species comes from invasive predators, including rats, Jackson’s chameleons, and in particular, the rosy wolf snail Euglandina rosea. Since tree snails have extremely low fecundity and highly restrictive habitat requirements, population recovery is slow, therefore the likelihood of continued extinction is high without immediate conservation action. The rosy wolf snail is native to the southeastern US, and was intentionally introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1955 by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture in a failed attempt to control the giant African snail Achatina fulica, an agriculture pest. However, E. rosea was recently shown by Dr. Holland’s tree snail lab to exhibit a preference for the native land snails. Wolf snails track their prey by following the slime trail that is naturally laid down as snails crawl. The goal of this project is to identify key chemo-attractants in the slime trail of prey species, and to ultimately concentrate this and use it to attract, capture and kill this invasive predatory species. Slime will be obtained by heating live African snails and leopard slugs, and biochemical analyses will be conducted first to separate out and isolate the different chemical contents of the mucus, then each will be tested in turn with live Euglandina rosea to identify the active chemical components. Chemical analysis and fractionation of slime will be done in Dr. Bingham’s lab, activity of each component will be tested in systematic trials along with controls in Dr. Holland’s lab.
Pages/Duration: 19 pages
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Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for Biology

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