Was down at Newport Wetlands yesterday and noticed that the edges of the main paths had a lot of common snails both individually and in groups, the snails did not seem to be dead but were in various positions.
The numbers involved, that I noticed, run into hundreds
Weather was overcast with odd light drizzle and very humid ... 95% +
Is this a regular occurrence, and if so does anyone have any ideas as to the cause, I would like to know as if it's indicative of a problem it needs to be reported and looked into ...
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Warm, humid weather, drizzle, I think you have stumbled on a snail orgy.
Caroline in Jersey
A snail will not be on its shell like that if it is alive..as far as I know. The shells do look empty from looking at the pictures close up.
when you feel down take a look outside...nature will uplift you
it does look like the shells are empty, wonder if its a man made disaster with being so many and the birds have picked them off
a good laugh is better than a tonic
Yes, I thought it did not look totally natural, and the shells position would suggest a problem, will report to the Countryside Council For Wales today, if it's nothing serious, then good, if not something needs to be done
These are Brown-lipped snails. As the shells are intact, I think we can rule out predation. When its really dry, snails will retract into their shells and effectively 'shut down'. this period of inactivity is known as estivation and will continue until it becomes damp again. I have seen large gatherings of these snails before, but on wet foliage. It almost looks like someone has collected up this banded snails and then dropped and left them.
I would be less worried if this was during a dry, hot spell, but as that is not the case this year I am concerned.
I have contacted Cellan Michael, [RSPB Area Manager], who was due to be at the reserve yesterday, with CCW, and he is investigating this - will keep everyone informed of any developments
I will be very interested to hear what Cellan discovers.