Land snails in Belize can be found in a variety of habitats. They are important food for many birds that live in Belize including currasow, crested guan, and other larger birds. Coatis and other mammals also eat land snails.
Biodiversity: The health of an ecosystem can be determined by the different kinds of land snails found in an area or it’s biodiversity. Read the introduction of the attached card to learn more about the importance of land snails in Belize. Download Land Snail Diversity of Belize card here.
Citizen Science: Participate in our on-going research of the land snails of Belize by going out in your backyard or neighborhood to search for land snails.
Because this is the dry season, you will likely not find many live snails but that’s okay!! You don’t need live animals to figure out what species (kind) of snail they are. All you need is the shells.
Activity: HOW TO LOOK FOR AND COLLECT LAND SNAILS
Snails like moist places (but not too wet!) where plants are growing.
- Get a stick and use it to scrape leaves and sticks at the base of plants and trees.
- Look around the edges of concrete buildings (snails like calcium for building their shells and can often find it on concrete).
- Pick up as many shells as you can.
- Take the shells back to your house and if you have a ruler, measure the length of the snails (using millimeters or mm).
- Use the attached card to figure out which group of snails they belong to.
- Write down your answers.
- Abundance: Count how many of each type of snail you find. Make a graph to show your results.
Finally, if you have a phone that takes pictures, take pictures of your snails along with what you think they are and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or post on Facebook and tag @bfreebelize!