Pacific Tree Snails

(Partula spp.)


Pacific Tree Snails IUCN EXTINCT (EX)


Facts about this animal

Most Partula snails live in trees, in densely forested, high altitude volcanic regions of South Pacific islands. Some are found at lower altitudes, living in banana trees or on bamboo stalks. All species require a moist, rather than dry habitat. Older snails tend to live higher up in trees than do young individuals

Partula are ovoviviparous, i.e. , instead of eggs being laid, the young hatch inside the parent and the parent gives birth to living young snails. Like other pulmonate land snails the Pacific tree snails also are hermaphroditic animals.

The diet of Pacific tree snails most likely consists of decaying plants and on microscopic plants that they find on the larger plants where they live.

Did you know?
that the biggest threat to the survival of Pacific tree snails is the introduction of the carnivorous Florida rosy wolf predatory snail (Euglandina rosea) to South Pacific islands? These carnivorous snails have often been introduced in order to curb populations of Giant African snails, another species introduced to the islands, which causes damage to banana plantations. The carnivorous snails often prey instead on the smaller native Partula snails and are rapidly exterminating them.


Name (Scientific) Partula spp.
Name (English) Pacific Tree Snails
Name (French) Escargots de Partula
Name (German) Pazifische Baumschnecken
Name (Spanish) Caracoles Partula
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Dave Clarke



Range Polynesia (92 species), Melanesia (20 species) and Micronesia (11 species)
Habitat Moist forest trees
Wild population The current wild status is in the process of being re-evaluated.
Zoo population International studbook (WAZA - ISB) for 20 species, established in 1986 and kept at London Zoo, with regional zoo programmes: EEP (EAZA) and SSP (AZA). EEP (EAZA): 11 participating institutions, SSP (AZA): 4 participating institutions. Species are managed at target levels of 250 adult snails. The total population of all species managed at Dec 31, 2007 is about 7940 animals.

In the Zoo

Pacific Tree Snails


How this animal should be transported

For air transport of terrestrial snails Container Note 58 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Carole Hickman

Why do zoos keep this animal

36 of the extant Pacific tree snails are either Extinct in the Wild, Critically Edangered, or Endangered. Zoos therefore have engaged in the ex situ breeding of 25 of these species. Under the umbrella of WAZA an International Studbook is kept by the Zoological Society of London, and there are coordinated ex situ breeding programmes in Europe and North America. So far there has been an experimental reintroduction project involving three species. Programme member institutions have provided funding and technical assistance to in situ conservation projects.