MUSKEGON, Mich. — The faucet snail is spreading in Lake Michigan, and that bodes ill for water birds native to Michigan, says Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute.
The snail, originally from Europe, carries parasites that kill ducks and coots. When the birds eat the snails, the parasites in the snails can kill the birds. But the snails are small and difficult to kill, said an institute release Tuesday.
A map of where in the Great Lakes the faucet snail was found shows sites in all five lakes.
“Our finding highlights the importance of ecological monitoring,” said GVSU professor Carl Ruetz in the release.
The Annis Water Resources Institute worked on the invasive species study with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and nine other universities.
“This is another example of how our natural systems are constantly at risk,” said the director of the Annis Water Resources Institute in the release.