Attack of the Alien Invaders, National Geographic Magazine: Non-Native Snail Thrives In Hawaii

Hand on large green leaf holds a snail.

The golden apple snail is devastating taro crops in Hawaii. A native of South America, the Channeled Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata) was introduced to Taiwan, the Philippines, and other countries in Southeast Asia in the late 1970s and early 1980s as a food item. The culinary demand for the species did not materialize and it was not long before the apple snail escaped captivity and spread, decimating rice fields of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines.

The alien species was introduced in Hawaii in 1989 where it damages taro (elephant ear) and rice crops. It is listed on the world’s top 100 worst invasive aliens.

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