An inconspicuous snail will restore the former character of the Nida delta

An inconspicuous snail will restore the former character of the Nida delta

It is present in 11 countries of the European Union, but only in Hungary is it developing properly. We are talking about the lesser ramshorn slug, which used to be a common species in Poland and is now threatened with extinction, and subject to strict protection.

As Dariusz Wiech, a specialist from the Świętokrzyskie and Nadnidziadzkie Landscape Parks Complex, says, it is one of the smallest water snails. Its shell is one of the most delicate shells of snails living in fresh waters.

– It is small. It has up to 8 mm and 5.5 curves on the shell. The shell is sensitive, very delicate, flattened. The lesser ramshorn lives about 1.5 years. At this point, it is preparing for sleep, i.e. it goes down to the bottom of the tank with fragments of plants and falls into a winter sleep, until spring, when it wakes up, breeds, and dies – Dariusz Wiech points out.

After the winter its population is low. And reproduction lasts from 6 to 8 weeks. Dariusz Wiech adds that the lesser ramshorn has a pseudobranchium, which allows it to breathe without emerging from the water. It has a dark grey body. It feeds on algae and decaying plant tissues.

The lesser ramshorn snail, Photo by The Świętokrzyskie and Nadnidziańskie Landscape Parks Complex

– “There are almost 20 different species of ramshorn snails in Poland. It is difficult to recognize it, it moves on one leg, it can be found in aquatic plants, such as the elodea, the hornwort, the milfoil, even when collecting duckweed, you can simply collect and observe these species at home in the aquarium,” he points out.

It is another species whose populations in the backwaters of Nida the Świętokrzyskie and Nadnidziańskie Landscape Parks Complex wants to enlarge. During the inventory, an extremely small population was found. The species is endangered due to the rapid decline of water levels and overgrowing of water reservoirs.

Like the newt, mussels, turtles, and the river mussel, the ramshorns are currently bred in special containers in Krzyżanowice, which will then be transported to Nida in spring.

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