DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal government agencies are working with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation to ensure the survival of a federally endangered snail once thought extinct but discovered in northeast Iowa.
The Iowa Pleistocene Snail has survived for over 400,000 years.
Fossils of the snail had been found but biologists thought the species had been extinct until a live snail was identified in 1940. The snail was listed as endangered in 1977.
It is only known to live in northeast Iowa and northwest Illinois along cold air lose rock slopes where vents keep air chilled to 40 degrees throughout the summer
The Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge and the Rock Island, Illinois Ecological Services Field Office have received a federal grant to help monitor known populations and survey for new ones.