As 2018 draws to a close we reflect back on all we were able to accomplish in our giant African land snail (GALS) eradication program this year.
In September, GALS reached a 7th anniversary milestone. Since that celebration, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Plant Industry and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) decommissioned two more cores identified by the program.
The closure of cores 1 and 24 bring the total of decommissioned cores to 22 out of 32 detected at the start of the program. This is great news, as Core 1 was one of the largest cores identified in the eradication program. In 2018 alone, seven cores were decommissioned throughout the course of the year. Over 31,000 giant African land snails were found in Cores 1 and 24 alone in the eradication program’s duration, though no live snails have been found in any core since December 2017.
The GALS team distributed bags to participating property owners in cores 1 and 24 as a token of appreciation for their cooperation over the years. The inspectors would not be able to do their job without the help and cooperation from the public.
The giant African land snail eradication program continues to be successful, year after year, in eradicating this extremely invasive pest and 2019 looks no different. The importance of eliminating this harmful pest is high in order to continue safeguarding Florida’s agriculture and citizens.