Ecological Impacts of Invasive Apple Snails

Question: What are some of the ecological impacts of the invasive apple snails in the U.S.?

Answer: Well, economic impact usually is the highest priority. But that’s not the only priority. They’re competing against native snails, and if they wipe out the vegetation in that area, those snails don’t have any food source—they in essence could create imbalance in nature in that area. And even something as simple as they could affect, there’s a bird that’s kind of endangered down in Florida called the kite, and the kite feeds on native snails. Well, if they wipe out the native snail population, they could, in essence, cause a bigger problem. But, when you don’t have a diverse population in nature, a diversity in vegetation and species of animals and invertebrates, then you end up with a monoculture environment which is almost never good. So, anytime a species has potential to totally dominate a particular area in nature, it is a serious problem. It doesn’t have as big a financial impact, but it does have a big impact on the environment. So that’s, there are other issues relating other than just the rice market.

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