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One in Five Reptile Species Faces Extinction - Study

Animals  (tags: AnimalWelfare, conservation, endangered, environment, ethics, extinction, protection, wildlife, society, law )

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Half of all freshwater turtles close to extinction while three species, including jungle runner lizard, are possibly extinct

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JL A. (281)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:37 am

One in five reptile species faces extinction – study

Half of all freshwater turtles close to extinction while three species, including jungle runner lizard, are possibly extinct

John Vidal
The Guardian, Thursday 14 February 2013

Reptiles threatened with extinction : Ahaetulla nasuta
The green vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta ) is among the world's reptiles that face extinction. Photograph: Ruchira Somaweera/IUCN/ZSL

Nearly one in five of the world's estimated 10,000 species of lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles and other reptiles are threatened with extinction, according to a study conducted by 200 experts.

But the risk of extinction was found to be unevenly spread throughout the extremely diverse group of animals. According to the paper, an alarming 50% of all freshwater turtles are close to extinction, possibly because they are traded on international markets.

The study, published by the Zoological Society of London in conjunction with the IUCN species survival commission, is the first of its kind summarising the global conservation status of reptiles, and used 1,500 randomly selected reptiles worldwide.

Out of the estimated 19% of reptiles threatened with extinction, in order of magnitude of danger, 12% are classified as critically endangered, 41% endangered and 47% vulnerable.

Three species were found to be possibly extinct. One, a jungle runner lizard, Ameiva vittata, has only ever been recorded in one part of Bolivia. In Haiti, six of the nine species of anolis lizard included in this study have an elevated risk of extinction, due to extensive deforestation affecting the country.
Reptiles threatened with extinction : Chamaeleo Laterispinis Chamaeleo laterispinis, found in the mountains of Tanzania, is also on the list of reptiles facing extinction threat. Photograph: Michele Menegon/IUCN/ZSL

The spread of farming and deforestation in tropical regions represents two of the greatest threats to reptiles, says the paper.

"The proportion of threatened reptile species is highest in freshwater environments, tropical regions and on oceanic islands, while data deficiency was highest in tropical areas, such as central Africa and south-east Asia," the paper says. "Levels of threat remain particularly high in tropical regions, mainly as a result of habitat conversion for agriculture and logging."
Reptiles threatened with extinction : Chamaeleo Lyriocephalus Scutatus Lyriocephalus scutatus, another lizard species on threatened list. Photograph: Ruchira Somaweera/IUCN/ZSL

Monika Böhm, lead author of the paper, said: "Reptiles are often associated with extreme habitats so it is easy to assume that they will be fine in our changing world. But many species are very highly specialised in terms of habitat use and the climatic conditions they require for day to day functioning. This makes them particularly sensitive to environmental changes."

Reptiles have a long and complex history, having first appeared on the planet about 300m years ago. They play a number of crucial roles in the proper functioning of the world's ecosystems, in their roles as predators as well as prey.

Philip Bowles, co-ordinator of IUCN's snake and lizard red list authority, said th

Teresa W. (786)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 8:00 am
very sad

Melania Padilla (197)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 8:13 am
Oh my ;(

JL A. (281)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 12:02 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Teresa because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Melania because you have done so within the last week.

John B. (194)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:28 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. This is NOT goods news at all. Human encroachment needs to be managed with co-habitation in mind. Read and sadly noted.

JL A. (281)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:34 pm
You 're both welcome and right John. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.

Terry V. (30)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:57 pm


JL A. (281)
Tuesday February 19, 2013, 7:59 pm
Thanks for posting the link to the short, topical video Terry! You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last week.

Danuta Watola (1264)
Wednesday February 20, 2013, 4:10 am

Past Member (0)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 3:57 am
Noted , Sad news , Thanks Cal .

Leslene Dunn (84)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 4:29 am
Noted - I am surprised!!!! Gosh, only one in five - by now I would have thought that every living creature on this earth is facing extinction thanks to mankind!

Fi T. (21)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 5:07 am
Let's do something for this important element of our ecosystem

Birgitta S. (202)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 5:48 am
:-((((((((((((( Thank you, Cal. & Thank you, Terry, for the video.

Andreia Capelo (15)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 6:36 am
Sadly noted.

JL A. (281)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 7:24 am
I, too, will thank Cal. You are welcome Andreia.
You cannot currently send a star to Samir because you have done so within the last week.You cannot currently send a star to Fiona because you have done so within the last week.

Natalie V. (27)
Thursday February 21, 2013, 3:23 pm
sadly noted

Veronique L. (209)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 3:13 am
Noted thanks

JL A. (281)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 8:51 am
You are welcome Veronique

Sergio Padilla (63)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 8:34 am
Not surprised.... Thanks

JL A. (281)
Wednesday February 27, 2013, 8:48 am
You are welcome Sergio
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