Advertisement
Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
kerala: environment

The Slimy Ones

Giant snails swamp a Kerala district

The Slimy Ones
Ratheesh Babu K
The Slimy Ones
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The monsoons are here and apart from the now cyclic clutch of near-fatal fevers, parts of Kerala are now under attack from a most invasive pest, the Giant African snail. This brownish, affable-looking intruder which devours vegetation and multiplies exponentially was first noticed in some southern and northern districts in 2005. But now, in several panchayats in the southern district of Pathanamthitta, it’s eating up plants and vegetables and creeping up the walls of houses, feeding on the calcium content in lime and cement. Calcium enhances its shell. The species was reportedly brought to Calcutta from Mauritius as far back as in 1847. Later on, down the years it was noticed in Karnataka, Orissa and Bihar.

Now, it seems to have found an idyll in Konni, Pathanamthitta, where homestead crops have been devastated. Tackling the menace has not been easy since the snail is nocturnal. By morning it goes underground, leaving farmers aghast at the plunder. And it seems to reproduce at will, not at all at a snail’s pace. The number of eggs per clutch averages around 200. A snail lays 5-6 clutches a year with a survival rate of 90 per cent.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

1st Test, Live: Spinners Ensnare Kiwis, India 1 Wicket Away From Win

1st Test, Live: Spinners Ensnare Kiwis, India 1 Wicket Away From Win

India are closing in on another famous victory at Green Park, Kanpur. This time against World Test champions New Zealand. Follow live coverage of India vs New Zealand first Test.

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Omicron In India: Five Steps To Stop Outbreak Of New Covid-19 Variant

Cases of Omicron, the latest variant of Covid-19, have not yet been reported in India.

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

Omicron Shows Why Countries Need To Start Sharing Their Vaccines

'Despite the repeated warnings of health leaders, our failure to put vaccines into the arms of people in the developing world is now coming back to haunt us', wrote former British PM Gordon Brown.

Omicron In India: How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States

Omicron In India: How New Covid-19 Variant Is Impacting Travel Across States

India has issued fresh travel restrictions for international travellers coming from 'at risk' nations in the wake of the Omicron outbreak across several countries in the world.

Advertisement