Some plants and animals are endemic to certain parts of the world. However, what if we told you there’s a variety of snail that’s only found within a 100 km radius? It’s true! The Fire Snail is naturally found in one specific location on the Malaysian Peninsula.
It is one of the rarest and most sought after species of snail in the world!
This incredible species was first found in 1938 within the Telom Valley, which is the Cameron Highlands district of Malaysia. Since this time, it’s also been discovered in Kelantan and Temenggor, but that’s it. This is because the Fire Snail only thrives in very specific habitats.
The areas this snail are found are very cool, yet humid. To be even more specific, they live in cloud forests which are located in high enough altitudes that clouds can form. The only problem is that the world is less than 1% of these types of forests. Malaysia, in particular, has had their cloud forests hit hard by tourism, logging, and agriculture.
As if it’s not enough that they are threatened by deforestation, but snail collectors love to get their hands on them as well. The Fire Snail, or Platymma tweediei is the largest land snail native to this area. It features a black shell that can grow up to 7 cm and a distinctive red foot.
Since it’s so rare and exotic looking snail collectors from all over the world are vying to own one. The only issue is that they cannot be bred in captivity and don’t do well outside their natural habitat. So, they could become extinct very soon.
While, there’s not a great deal of information on this species, to preserve them it’s important to learn more about them. In learning more hopefully it will help determine how many of them are left in the wild, and exactly what we can do to save them!