Officials with a federal agency say the population of a rare type of snail only found on the Central Coast is doing well enough that it can be removed from the federal Endangered Species list. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials are proposing reclassifying the Morro shoulderband snail as threatened.
The tiny snails are usually smaller than the size of a quarter. They feed on decaying plants, and spend most of their lives in a hibernation like condition.
They are only found on about 6500 acres of land in the Morro Bay and Los Osos areas. Officials say a number of habitat protection measures over the years have allowed the number of snails to expand from the hundreds into the thousands.
The proposed change in status would still provides some protections. But, it would also allow activities which could help the species like habitat restoration efforts, as well as brush fire hazard reduction work.