Aldabra banded snail | Wikicommons
On September 20th 2014, The Times published
an article, "Snail 'wiped out by climate change' is alive and
It reported the rediscovery of the Aldabran banded
snail (Rhachistia aldabrae), which was declared extinct in
2009 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature
(IUCN), after repeated searches in its known habitat found no sign
of the snail for over a decade.
a scientific paper had pieced together the recent history
of the snail population and the climate, and concluded that the
snails extinction could be explained by the increasing frequency of
dry years, leading to lower survival and reproduction.
But an expedition in August 2014 rediscovered the
species in dense mixed scrub of a little-visited part of
Conservationists celebrated the rediscovery, while also noting
that the species is still extremely rare and its persistence by no
The Times article developed the story in a completely different
direction, using it to challenge the basis for conclusions that the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published earlier this
year on species extinctions under climate change.
The Times claims that the Aldabran banded snail was
cited in another paper (which I infer to be
Cahill et al. 2013), a review of existing evidence, as "the
clearest example of man-made climate change causing an extinction".
It states that this was a major strand of evidence in the IPCC's
conclusions on future extinction risks, which were summarised as:
"A large fraction of both terrestrial and freshwater species faces
increased extinction risk under projected climate change during and
beyond the 21st century".