24 New Species Close to Extinction

There are many species that are listed as endangered, and efforts are being made to conserve them. However, with 24 new species of lizards, known as skinks, recently discovered in the Caribbean, this is not the case. All of the newly discovered lizards are threatened, or close to extinction, and we’ve only just discovered them. We don’t know much about them, except the type of lizards they are, and where they live. In fact, half of the them may already be extinct.

What put all these lizards in peril? During the late 1800s, farmers introduced the invasive predatory mongoose to the islands to kill rats in their sugarcane fields. The rat-killing solution unknowingly wreaked havoc, as the invasive predator destroyed some of the local wildlife (just as the Burmese pythons are doing in Florida today). Another factor contributing to the loss of lizards in the islands is habitat destruction, specifically forests.

Skink

It is the first time in well over 100 years that this number of reptile discoveries have been added to scientific literature at one time.

“Now, one of the smallest groups of lizards in this region of the world has become one of the largest groups. We were completely surprised to find what amounts to a new fauna, with co-occurring species and different ecological types,” said lead researcher and Penn State biology professor Blair Hedges. (Source: Penn State)

One of the unique things about these skinks is that they have a placenta similar to a humans, and gestate their offspring for up to one year.

Image Credit: 1. Karl Questel, 2. Joseph Burgess

Related Links
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600 News Species Discovered Already Threatened

44 comments

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

:(

Valentina R.
Valentina R4 years ago

These news are both good and awful at the same time. We discover new species, but they're already almost extinct. How sick is that?

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Ron B.
Ron B4 years ago

At the rate we're going, the human race will someday be giving asteroids a run for their money as an extinction causing phenomenon.

Marie W.
Marie W4 years ago

Nothing lasts forever.. but must we hasten its departure?

Diana Roth
Diana Roth4 years ago

...and on we march to successfully wiping out more species.

Viviana C.
Past Member 4 years ago

so sad but thanks for sharing

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago

thanks for the info

chris b.
chris b4 years ago

I don't think some humans will ever get it. Some look to critters as trophies. Some just don't care. Too bad and sooooooo sad.

Jim Coke
Jim Coke4 years ago

Some time age, I read an article in a scientific journal which reported that a thousand new species, previously unknown to science, were discovered in a remote tropical jungle. Of course we know that many species have become extinct over time, and many more (including humans) have come into existence.

I fail to understand the strong concern, even hand-wringing, over the possible extinction of a particular species. Does anyone imagine that every species now in existence can be preserved forever? If the dynamic, ever-changing environment leads to the extinction of some species, and the creation of many more, is that a tragedy? The idea that we humans can control the existence or non-existence of the numerous species inhabiting earth is, frankly, preposterous.

Of course, we should treat every sentient creature, regardless of species, as humanely as possible. But a species, as such, feels no pain, fear or hunger - only an individual member of a species does.