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140,000 giant African land snails eradicated

Giant African Land Snail
Posted at 5:34 PM, Sep 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-12 10:58:07-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's Agriculture Commissioner says his department has successfully eliminated more than 140,000 Giant African Land Snails from Miami-Dade County, but warns challenges remain.

The state received a federal grant earlier this year to deal with the snail. Adam Putnam said the program has kept the snail from moving beyond the county's borders, but warned that the discovery last month of a large population of snails in a new core area reinforces the importance the eradication program.

The snails reproduce rapidly and consume at least 500 different types of plants and pose a serious health risk to humans. Scientists also say the snails can be devastating to Florida's agriculture and can cause extensive damage to tropical and subtropical environments.

Putnam is slated to discuss the eradication efforts in Miami on Tuesday.