you work with the ferrugineous limpet (Patella ferruginea). How is this species? R. It is a species of marine mollusk, specifically a limpet that lives in the intertidal zone. It is considered a giant limpet because it exceeds 10 cm in maximum size . Its size has been one of the problems of the species, because it is in a very accessible coastal area. When the tide goes out, the large specimens are easily identifiable and therefore have been collected by humans since prehistoric times. The species is endemic to the Western Mediterranean, previously it was widely distributed along the western coast of both Europe and North Africa. But since the end of the 19th century, and especially throughout the 20th century, there has been an alarming reduction in their populations. To the point that it has become extinct from what is continental Europe . Some small populations remain in

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Andalusia and then in the islands of Corsica Uzbekistan Email List and Sardinia, but in the rest of the European continent it has practically disappeared. However, we know from Pleistocene shells that the species was very abundant and is now in a critical situation. Q. Why is Patella ferruginea endangered? R. Fundamentally the problem has been human collection and continues to be so . It has been proven that in inaccessible places, where the human presence is very restricted, the populations are much more numerous and the specimens reach larger sizes. It has a very striking shell if you compare it with other limpets. Firstly because of its size, because it is much larger than other limpet species, and especially because the shell also has a very characteristic stellate morphology, which is actually quite striking. Habitat fragmentation throughout the 20th century has also been a problem.

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The construction on the coast, of promenades and ports for example, has been destroying the natural habitats where the species is found and has been fragmenting its area of ​​distribution. It has also been seen that it is a species relatively more sensitive to contamination than other species that appear at the same latitude. Marine pollution has been increasing in the last century, this has also determined that it is no longer found in areas where it used to be. P. Thanks to your work, the European Commission awarded a Life Project for the conservation of Patella. What is the LIFE REMoPaF project? R. The project basically consists of a series of conservation actions, especially aimed at reinforcing populations. I have commented before that in Andalusia there are few very fragmented populations. One of them, the main one, is in the bay of Algeciras.

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