Vietnamese Giant Snail
The Vietnamese Giant Snail, Bertia cambojiensis, is known only from a very restricted area in southern Vietnam and is listed as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It was recently rediscovered living in the wild after many years without records, giving rise to fears that it might have been Extinct.
It has only been located in a small area, and so the size of the population is clearly limited. It was found below leaf litter of tropical moist lowland forest in a dormant state during the dry season. It is large, brightly coloured, and shiny, with a high market value among shell collectors due to its beauty and its rarity in the trade. The greatest immediate threat is that it will be heavily collected for the shell trade.
The Vietnamese Giant Snail is currently the only species recognised in the genus. A conservation breeding programme has recently been started in both Vietnam and the UK. Viable cell preparations have been taken and stored at very low temperatures to allow for possible restoration of the species should they become extinct.