Backyard Buddies
Snails

Photo: Doug Beckers

Snails

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The leaf litter in your garden is perfect for snails who need a moist atmosphere to survive in.

Snails can be infuriating when they graze on your newly planted veggie patch. But they also like to feed on dead plant and animal material and fungi.

There are over 1000 species of native Australian snails and slugs but most of the snails and slugs we find in our gardens are not natives.

Introduced snail species generally arrived accidently in Australia on potted plants, or stuck to packing cases, pallets and shipping containers. The introduced common garden snail has lived in Australia for over 100 years. They live everywhere and the lack of natural predators means their numbers have exploded. Many birds will eat them, including your backyard chickens, but the widespread use of snail pellets has made many potential predators learn to avoid eating them.

Snails can play an important part in decomposing organic matter in your compost bin.

Snails are an important food source for crows, ravens and blue-tongue lizards so think twice before you reach for the snail pellets. Dead snails can make the animals that eat them sick and will discourage native animals from visiting your garden.

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”Protecting & safeguarding Australia’s wilderness & wildlife is important for the health and enjoyment for our future generations, thanks FNPW for your support of our project.“

Dr Ricky Spencer – Lead Scientist Murray River Turtle Project, NSW

Photo: OEH