Distribution, Habitat Association, Species Abundance and Perceptions of Residents towards Achatina fulica in Anguila

Species affect biodiversity and have been associated with high economic costs and other implications for society. One invasive mollusc, which is currently causing considerable damage to the livelihood of people in the Caribbean, is the Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica). The invasion of this mollusc in the Caribbean Island of Anguilla has posed a major challenge to the authorities and residents alike.

Here, I investigated the overall distribution of A. fulica, examined the association of A. fulica with three different habitats (grasslands, woodlands and shrubs), recorded its microhabitats, and probe the perception of residents towards the introduced mollusc. I found that there were significant differences in the snails‟ abundance among geographic areas, habitat types and microhabitats.

The results indicated that A. fulica was widely distributed in all major habitat types, thereby suggesting that any eradication programme will be extremely costly.

The study also revealed that residents considered the snail to be a pest and were supportive of assisting the authorities in managing the destructive mollusc.