96.1% of Cuban molluscs are endemic

10:48, June 24, 2010      

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The highest level of endemism of the Cuba fauna belongs to the terrestrial mollusks, totaling 1,300 species identified by science, said on Wednesday a local expert.

Alejandro Fernandez, Natural Resources specialist from the local Centre for Research and Environmental Services and Technologies (CISAT) reported that 96.1 percent of Cuban snails are located only in the island.

Fernandez added that the Uricoptidae family is the most complex group to study, because 44 genres and 504 classified species live in the country, but most of them in severely restricted biogeographic areas.

He mentioned as an example the gender Idiostemma, which requires extreme care for its conservation and reproduction in small areas of the provinces of Guantanamo, Granma, Santiago de Cuba and Holguin, all of them in eastern Cuba.

However the scientist cleared that in the case of Holguin, new colonies are located in several municipalities, particularly in coastal formations with predominance of limestone.

Carlos Pena, also CISAT specialist, highlighted that the greatest threat to these endemic molluscs and the fragile ecosystems where they inhabit is the action of man.

Among the representatives of the high level of endemism of the Cuban molluscs, there are six variants of Polimitas, worldwide famous due to their beautiful color and arboreal habits.



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