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Imported snails are threatening the Everglades’ plant life. The snails were introduced to the Everglades as food for the endangered Everglades snail kite. The bird of prey normally eats a native snail whose numbers are declining. The new South American apple snail provided the kite with enough food to boost populations, but the snails reproduced quickly, devouring plants in a man-made marsh used to clean the Everglades’ water. Scientists can’t predict how destructive the snails will be in the future, but if they continue to spread they could severely damage the Everglades’ ecosystem.

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