“Snail Tube” shows best time to bait snails before egg laying.

News article |

An innovative project on Southern Yorke Peninsula has been monitoring the movement and activity of round and conical snails through the use of remote video cameras “snail cam”.

The project is an initiative of Northern and Yorke Regional Landcare Facilitator Michael Richards and is producing some interesting observations in the ongoing battle against snail infestations on agricultural cropping land.

“In 2013 two online cameras were installed in South Australia, one South of Warooka on Yorke Peninsula and one near Naracoorte in the South East.

“Snails were observed laying eggs South of Warooka in 2013 during 12 mm of rain on April 21st which was the first rain event over 12 mm for that month.” Mr Richards said.

“We are now twelve months on in our observations and the cameras show that snails began to feed after a 20 mm rainfall event in Mid February 2014 and have continued to feed when relative humidity reached 90%.

“Since March 18 2014, snails have started to feed at 80% humidity they have also been observed mating since this date on Eyre Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula, Langhorne Creek and in the South East.

“In 2013, snails were observed mating from March 25th and this is the first time that snail activity has been monitored so closely in this way and we are starting to gain a better understanding between rainfall events and snail feeding activity.”

A rule of thumb that is emerging from this footage is that conical snails appear to need a light shower to move 1 metre or more, compared to round snails who move 1 to 2 metres on overnight dampness.

The project footage can be viewed online through the Ag Excellence Alliance website, with updates also made to the “On Farm” group page on Facebook.

Three Online cameras are currently in use across South Australia, two at Minlaton and one in the South East. A further six smaller cameras are located at Warooka, Stenhouse Bay, Eyre Peninsula and in the South East of S.A.

The project is funded by the Australian Government through a Landcare Community Action Grant and Northern and Yorke Regional Baseline Funding. Project activities are supported by SARDI through GRDC.

The Regional Baseline Funding will run for a further four years, with findings contributing to a refining of the bash em burn em bait em principles that will assist farmers take action at a time that will give the best outcomes in snail management.

For additional information contact Michael Richards, Northern and Yorke Regional Landcare Facilitator on 0427 547 052 or michael.yp@bigpond.com.

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