The Conservation Center currently houses a refugium population of Page springsnails (Pyrgulopsis morrisoni) and Three Forks springsnails (Pyrgulopsis trivialis). Very little is known about either of these aquatic snails and the Phoenix Zoo is working to try and establish a husbandry protocol to create a breeding population that could be released back to the wild.
Beginning in 2008, the Phoenix Zoo collaborated with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and US Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain an assurance population of Page and Three Forks springsnails. In 2011, the Three Forks springsnail was scheduled to be listed as "Endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. In fact, each of the twelve springsnail species native to Arizona is in decline.
Very little is known about how to care for springsnails, most work in the field is concentrated on identifying the different species and in determining their population size. Phoenix Zoo has taken on the task of learning how to keep these tiny, but important invertebrates alive outside of their natural habitat. The goal is to learn how to raise snails so that we can provide enough to return to the wild, in case there is a need. The staff at the Phoenix Zoo's Arthur L. & Elaine Johnson Native Species Conservation Center have been working to develop a husbandry strategy that results in propagation of springsnails. Recently we achieved a successful hatching of Page springsnails at the Conservation Center. This is a first for this species in a lab setting. Because of achievement, we are able to learn a great deal about how to care for springsnail in this setting. As we continue to refine our springsnail care protocol. We will share this valuable information with partners at Arizona Game and Fish and USFWS.