A tiny, rare snail in Malaysia has big consequences for Lafarge

27 August 2014

For the first time ever, a ‘new’ species has been named after the company that has the power to either conserve or destroy it. It’s a snail and, although small, has the potential to leave a permanent legacy for a giant global business.

The snail was recently discovered living on an isolated limestone hill called Gunung Kanthan in the northwest of Peninsular Malaysia – its only known home on Earth. This snail’s extinction is especially threatened as the only place it has ever been found is in the corner of a limestone quarry run by global cement and aggregates giant Lafarge.

Those parts of the quarry not yet worked, have proven a fertile place for new species. It has recently been the source of three new kinds of plant, a trapdoor spider, another snail and new kind of Bent-toed Gecko. Given the very restricted known distributions of these species, all of them are presumed to be at critical risk of global extinction, and all face threat from further quarrying.

Read the latest issue

Latest Issue