Future of Charopa lafargei snail in hands of Lafarge Malaysia


Updated Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:48:00 GMT

Malaysia: Scientists have discovered a new snail species on a limestone hill known as Kanthan in Malaysia. They have named the species, which is only 2-3mm in diameter, 'Charopa lafargei,' after Lafarge Malaysia, the cement producer that owns the hill.

As Kanthan is the only place that this species has been observed, Charopa lafargei was immediately classed as 'critically endangered' in the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species. This means that its future is effectively in the hands of Lafarge, which purchased the hill to make cement. The scientists decided to name the snail after Lafarge for this reason, although it is not clear if or how the name will affect the future actions of the producer.

"I'm not aware of a species threatened with extinction that has been given the name of the company that can determine whether it goes extinct or survives," said Tony Whitten from Fauna & Flora International.

The new snail is not the only endemic species found on the hill. Kanthan is also home to nine plant species that are on Malaysia's Red List of Endangered Plants. One critically endangered spider, one gecko and two other snails that are also found only on Kanthan.