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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Erosaria erosa | Bartholomew Woodham




Erosaria erosa

Eroded Cowry

Bartholomew Woodham (2012)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links

Conservation & Threats

Historically, cowries have had many threats. In the past cowrie shells have been used as currency, this appeared relatively sustainable as it was only small amounts of shells being removed locally. Large shipments were often taken from around the world to places where they were considered currency and traded for goods. While E. erosa was not a major species of the shell trade it is likely that many were collected for their shells for this purpose.

Cowrie shells are, because of their beautiful appearance, highly prized by collectors. Poulsen (1995) discusses the practice of shell collection that continues to this day in some countries where shells are collected and usually sold directly to tourists or to other vendors. In the past people could make a living collecting cowries but today the number caught is much less (Samoilys & Kanyange, 2008). Most tourists are conscious of the unsustainable nature of this practice and do not purchase such shells. Laws to prevent collecting of shells are in place in many countries such as Australia and tourism operators put much more emphasis on ecologically sound tourism, dubbed ecotourism, than in the past.



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