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Zurich rescues over 3000 snails

Peter Müller groans, the cross hurts him. The twelfth day in a row, the zoologist kneels, stands in his garden with brown flowers and grass and turns over stones. With the tweezers, he pushes a few Stalks to the side and touched gently a few mm large screw, drops them in his palm and then into a kitchen paper lined plastic box.

On the 400, he had to screw the Population of Zebra, Latin Zebrina detrita, also in March, snail, White tower with a screw or the Kaiserstuhl snail in his garden, much appreciated. But now he has been one of the 3000. Animal. "In some Places I'm already going for the fourth Time and still find new," he says. The plastic boxes with the blue lids, on which Müller recorded meticulously the number of included adult, adolescent, and young snails, stacking in the shade of the family house at the witiker road.

concentration: Peter Müller from each individual screw with the tweezers. Photo: Dominique Meienberg

Thomas Marty and Melissa Dietze, both specialist gardeners, in support of Müller. You dig"sainfoin, wall pepper, from flakes to flowers, upright betony and cloves, pack the root ball in the pots and stacking them in the van in the driveway. On top of that, Miller's boxes come with the screw. Then the journey – to Neerach in the Glattal. Because in the garden, he heard Miller's parents-in-law, it will soon be uncomfortable for the animals. The house is sold, the species-rich dry meadow, created by Müller here, should probably be turned into a lawn.

Until the end of October, Miller had time to find a new home for the snails. The search was difficult. And, although Müller is specialized on rare snail species, and for many years on the inventory of the rare dry meadows in the Canton of has worked. Using the club's Hot Spots, has devoted himself for the next few years, the protection of these animals, with Miller's contacts at the specialist of nature conservation of the Canton of Zurich. And also thanks to a call to this newspaper, Müller was finally equal multiple cookies: The largest area is a newly-designed landfill site in Neerach.

A fine little Schnecklein

The Zebra snail is one of about 200 in Switzerland-native species of snails, half of which is considered to be at risk. Also grown is a small animal. With a grey-brown, fine-membered body, the cream-colored houses decorated up to 2.5 centimeters long, sometimes with dark longitudinal stripes.

Zebrina detrita has a worm in unusually strong preference for heat and sun, and it is very rare, even in nature. You need to open positions on the ground, half of the land area or more. Also, sandy and lean earth and loose Sand you need, to for protection against desiccation or Frost, dig. In the city of Zurich, it was proven in 1951, in today's irchel Park, the last known location in town: Miller's garden.

In the shadow of the window opening, the boxes are stacked with hundreds of snails. Photo: Lorenzo Petrò

several years Ago, Müller had created with two of his children, the dry meadow. With the Trailers hundreds of pounds of gravel and stones from the Creek bed in the middle of elephant Bach up carted. The snails, then a handful of animals, las Müller on a motorway embankment together.

"knowledge is Great to, my tips for re-settlements will actually work."Peter Müller

Müller casts a look back at the umgewühlte former Paradise. The worm expert is pleasure in the thing is also something Positive; He knows now with certainty: From a few specimens in his garden in a few years, several Thousand. To know "great that the tips that I give for the re-settlements will actually work."

Paradise on construction debris landfill

Shortly after noon, Müller, Dietze and Marty reach the Transporter Neerach. The replacement site is located in a slight depression between the idyllic village in the Glattal and the community of Stadel. Here firewood is stored, under a group of trees, someone has created a fish pond.

On a surface that is more than ten times as large as Miller's garden, interspersed with gravel, sand, gravel, and limestone pile from. Large blocks of red porphyry rise here and there. For the rare Black mortar bee to nest here. Also, it benefits from the plants, brought back by Müller and his assistants, and the place around the Sand - stone lenses in the soil.

Has screw space on a finger-nail: A copy of the endangered dwarf Heath. Photo: Dominique Meienberg

The area of a former landfill site is owned by the cleaners and maintenance and the past few months, was used as an interim storage for contaminated Material to a middle, in the rehabilitation of existing landfill. As compensation for this use of the landfill owner has agreed to the location in the connector for the conservation upgrade. Thanks to müller's contacts, not only for endangered reptiles, and wild bees, but also for the dry snails from his garden, meadow.


threatened Before Müller gets the boxes with the Zebra snails from the Transporter, he uses a large black plastic bag and spread the contents over the freshly set plants. "Worm food," says he, "in order for the animals to starve to death here in the next few weeks." It the plant is to be cut from his garden, stalks and leaves where they like to nibble on, as he knows.

Then Müller puts his worm, one after the other, with the tweezers around the freshly set plant: 28 adults, 13 of them adolescents, 398 young animals. And then 94 dwarf Heath snails, Xerocrassa geyeri. You are not only endangered, but in Switzerland in danger of extinction. Also you have kept in the Miller's garden in Zurich.

A Zebra snail, just exposed to in their new home. Photo: Dominique Meienberg

The worm specialist, hopes the feel both types at the new location well. For safety, he brings a part of the 3000 animals at other locations. Two to three areas in the Canton of Thurgau, in the municipality of Herdern and this week on a gravel embankment on the Area of the Epi clinic at the city limits to Zollikon. The Zebra snail remains of the city of Zurich obtained, even if in Witikon, the excavator driving.

Created: 31.10.2019, 11:00 PM

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