Scotland moves quickly to protect tiny, rare snail

It's not always the cute creatures that get saved. Case in point, a rare snail less than a millimeter in length which has gained protected status in Scotland.

Although the narrow-mouthed whorl snail (Vertigo angustior) exists all over Europe, it is quite rare and dependant upon conservation to survive, according to the IUCN Red List. In Scotland, the snail lives in a just two colonies, each only 150 feet wide. The species is considered quite delicate and vulnerable to changes in the conditions of its habitat.

The snails' home in Scotland is now considered a "special area of conservation," which grants it the highest levels of protection against development available under EU law. The designation protects not just the two known colonies, but an entire 15-hectare site at Garron Point, helping to ensure that the entire area is conserved.