Help Save our Snails

Help Save our Snails

Hawai‘iʻs native snails need your help. While most snail conservation work takes place in remote locations or in controlled laboratories, there are several ways that Hawaiʻi’s residents and visitors can help protect these rare resources.

Follow Endangered Snail Etiquette

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Report a SEPP Species

If you find a snail you think might be rare and in need of protection, report it to us here. Our program is specifically focused on protecting rare, native snails. If you find snails in your backyard, they are likely common, non-native species, like the giant African snail. These do not need to be reported to SEPP.


The SEPP program occasionally has volunteer opportunities for individuals to help with conservation work. Check the DLNR volunteer pages to see if there are any current opportunities.

Don’t Release Your Pets

Introduced predators are one of the main threats to snails. Pets like Jackson’s chameleons should not be released into the wild, as they will prey on native snails. Jackson’s chameleons are considered injurious wildlife in Hawaiʻi. While it is legal to buy them from pet stores and to have them contained in your home, it is illegal to release a Jackson’s chameleon. It is also illegal to transport it to areas of the state where Jackson’s chameleons are not already established (such as Kauaʻi), or to export these animals from the state without a permit. If you are moving to the mainland you may be eligible for a permit to take your pet chameleon with you. If you no longer want a pet, you must find a good home for it or find another humane solution where the pet will remain in someone’s care.

Stay Out of Snail Enclosures

Snail enclosures are designed to keep threats away from snails. That means you, too. Hikers and snail enthusiasts may encounter snail enclosures while exploring Hawaiʻi’s mauka areas. If you find a snail enclosure, keep out! While you may be venturing inside because you love snails, youʻll better show your love by giving them their space. The SEPP staff use careful guidelines for working with snails inside these enclosures. Individuals who break into snail enclosures for photos or just to explore are trespassing, and running the risk of damaging native plants that snails rely on or potentially damaging the snails themselves.

Pictured here is a predator proof exclosure on Oʻahu. If you come across one of these structures please keep out and join us for a volunteer trip instead.