Giant African Snail Bounty Hunter Initiative
Press Release: The first month of the Giant African Snail Bounty Hunter Initiative
has been completed. This press release reports on the first month
of activity under the initiative.
St. John’s, ANTIGUA; October 26, 2018: In April of 2018, the Cabinet
approved the sum of EC$100,000 towards a Giant African Snail Bounty Initiative. In
September, which marks the time of year when the snail is most active, the Plant
Protection Unit rolled out the initiative through a series of activities, including
registration and orientation of registrants, followed by signing of contracts. Bounty
Hunters had to be 18 years or older to participate. The initiative provides the Bounty
Hunters with gloves and garbage bags. A system for daily collection and disposal of
the snail bounty has been developed in collaboration with the Central Board of Health
and the National Solid Waste Management Authority.
Forty (40) of the 75 registrants went on to sign contracts, with at least 50% falling
within the 18 – 35 age category. Generally, males and females were equally
represented. Bounty Hunters concentrated on 18 snail-infested locations and
collected a total of 19,742 lbs of snails in the first month. The majority of the collections
were from Paynters (4,346 lbs), Fitches Creek/Burma (3,315 lbs), Cedar Valley (3,133
lbs), All Saints (2,350 lbs), and Pigotts (1,841 lbs). On the assumption that one pound
of snails comprises 10 individuals, the first month’s effort can be said to have removed
approximately 200,000 snails from the environment.
The efforts of the Bounty Hunters and all involved to ensure that the initiative is
successful must be highly commended.