Report: One in Five Reptiles at Risk of Extinction

A new study from the Zoological Society of London has found that one in five of the world's reptile species are at risk of extinction

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A lizard basking in the hot sun

A new study by the Zoological Society of London has found that 19% — nearly one in five — of the world’s 10,000 species of reptiles are threatened with extinction. The study, which has been printed in the journal Biological Conservation, was carried out by more than 200 experts who assessed the risk of extinction of 1,500 reptiles selected at random from around the globe.

The primary author of the paper, Monika Bohm, explained to the Zoological Society: “reptiles are often associated with extreme habitats and tough environmental conditions, so it is easy to assume that they will be fine in our changing world.” However, that’s far from the truth: “Many species are very high specialized in terms of habitat use and the climatic conditions they require for day to day functioning,” Bohm said. “This makes them particularly sensitive to environmental changes.” The paper highlights three critically endangered species in its research, including the jungle runner lizard Ameiva vittata, which has only ever been spotted in the Cochabamba region of the Bolivian jungle — an area under threat from the growth of agriculture and logging. The two most recent searches for the species have been unsuccessful, writes the study. Meanwhile in Haiti, six of the nine species of Anolis lizard in the country risk extinction due to increased deforestation.

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Also at risk are freshwater turtles, with 50% of all species at risk of extinction from hunting; turtle parts are in high demand as ingredients in traditional medicine. According to the study 30% of freshwater reptile species are also in danger of completely disappearing.

Reptiles have a long evolutionary history: certain orders, such as snakes, lizards, amphisbaenians (worm lizards), crocodiles and tuataras first appeared on earth around 300 million years ago. They are an important part of many ecosystems, and play roles as both predator and prey. “This is a very important step towards assessing the conservation status of reptiles globally,” Philip Bowles from the IUCN Species Survival Commission said in response to the study. “Tackling the identified threats, which include habitat loss and harvesting, are key conservation priorities in order to reverse declines in these reptiles.”

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7 comments
ElizabethC.Rose
ElizabethC.Rose

today reptiles, tomorrow it could be us! climate change scares me!

fatality1515
fatality1515

Why should I care about some stupid reptiles when liberals are exterminating the white population through their stupidity and multi-culti policies. You could say they're flooding the "white" habitat with foreign species.. It's not surprising why each day 1000 brits leave their country. Britain looks more Pakistan everyday!

Since the white society is brainwashed to hate their own race, there isn't a beep in the news how all the white countries are becoming extinct, instead we get articles about some stupid lizards, frogs, monkeys...

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

People of Earth, nice going. Seriously, way to go.

fatality1515
fatality1515

@Benfclark

Without a doubt, you can be classified as a typical dumb liberal incapable of writing a constructive comment.

obi1kNobi47
obi1kNobi47

@fatality1515 How about you go crawl back into your sheltered conservative hole and come back when you've don your research. And/or find something better to do than scrutinize Time's website for side articles pertaining to the interests of those who are interested.


Benfclark
Benfclark

@fatality1515 Here, may I suggest that you re-read your own comment, and then ask yourself if you seriously believe in what it says.