Scotland's rare pond mud snail wins lottery backing

BUGLIFE project '˜Marvellous Mud Snails' has won National Lottery support to help the rare Pond mud snail in Scotland

Mud snail. Picture: Buglife

Charity Buglife has received £48,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project Marvellous Mud Snails that will take place across Scotland.

This fun and interactive project will engage with people of all ages about the importance of the rare Pond mud snail and their freshwater habitats in Scotland.

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Marvellous Mud Snails is a citizen science project and will provide a range of activities that everyone can get involved in.

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These activities include a programme of both indoor and outdoor school sessions, training on species identification and a captive breeding programme that will help create a stronger and more resilient population of the Pond mud snail in Scotland.

Pond mud snails are an important part of the natural heritage of Scotland and are currently under great threat.

This species of snail has disappeared from many of its former known locations from Britain and elsewhere across Europe.

Surveys in 2005-06 highlighted a significant decline at historical sites in Scotland and identified the snail from only five sites in the local authority areas East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, Scottish Borders, West Lothian and Clackmannanshire. As a result of this significant decline, the Pond mud snail is now classified as Vulnerable in the UK Red Data Books and is on the Scottish Biodiversity List.

Alasdair Lemon, Buglife Conservation Officer, said: “We are thrilled that the National Lottery players are supporting this project to help the Pond mud snail in Scotland. This exciting and fun project will engage with people of all ages about the importance of freshwater habitats for invertebrates and will train people how to identify the Pond mud snail and other species”.

Ben Harrower, Conservation Programme Manager for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland adds “This Buglife project is excellent news for a species that has until now received limited attention. RZSS are delighted to support and complement this project to restore an invertebrate that is under great threat”.

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Our natural heritage is a most precious resource and, thanks to National Lottery players, HLF grants have helped to protect an amazing range of landscapes, habitats, and species of plants and animals.

“HLF is delighted to support Marvellous Mud Snails that will stimulate people’s interest in the natural world and so help them conserve it for future generations.”

Buglife’s aim is to halt the extinction of invertebrate species and to achieve sustainable populations of invertebrates across the UK.