Wildlife and last year’s eastern wildfires

“Endangered snail survives devastating fall wildfires” and other stories from the Smoky Mountains.

The snail was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1978. Before the fires, the only place in the world it was known to exist was a 2-mile stretch the southern side of the Nantahala River Gorge in Swain County.

After the fires, biologists found snails in an area about 5 miles long and extending to near the top of the ridge, a much broader area than ever thought, he said.

One interesting point is that the drought that led to the fire may have also caused these less mobile species to seek out wetter areas that gave them more protection from the fire.

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