The destructive invasive species are the apple snails that are once again causing problems along a Southern state river. In fact, the giant snails and egg cases can, moreover, also pose an agricultural and ecological threat as they feed on aquatic plants. Thus take the food and habitat away from the Southern state and city native species.
Destructive Invasive Species are Back in Town
The non-native series, according to SARA’s website, was first spotted in October 2019. It was along the Museum Reach section of the river. In fact, this time around, they’ve also been spotted in the King William area of the San Antonio River.
Infestation is Getting Worse
“Moreover, (there were) about 3,600 egg cases last year, (and) we are already up to over 7,600 egg cases this year,” said Shaun Donovan who is the Environmental Science Manager. Donovan works for a San Antonio River Authority. “In fact, the amount of adult snails is three or four times more than they were in 2020. Yes, so, it’s pretty bad, and it’s just getting more and worse from over the last couple of years.”
In fact, the staff does routinely monitors the river to remove the snails and bright pink egg cases. In essence, one egg case can hold thousands of eggs.
“Therefore, if we can get the egg cases out, it means, moreover, that there’s not a group of young individuals that are, in fact, going to replace the older ones,” Donovan said. “The older ones (will) die out. So, it’s very important for us to take the egg cases off as soon as we see them. That is so that we’re not allowing for successful reproduction of the apple snails in the river.”
The Water Ecosystem is in Jeopardy
Moreover, the spread of the snails could be harmful to the water ecosystem.
“In fact, if they start going downstream away from the channelized areas of the River Walk and then into the natural parts of the river, apple snails can eat the vegetation on the banks, and then they can cut back that vegetation so much that we could, in fact, start having erosion along the banks,” Donovan said.