A new scientific report is highlighting the threats that reptiles face of becoming extinct. The research, conducted by Charles Darwin University in partnership with NatureServe, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International, looked at more than 10,00 reptile species across 24 countries. Turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and tuatara were all included in the study.
The scientists found that at least 21 per cent of all reptile species globally are threatened with extinction.
Of the reptile species, turtles and crocodiles were deemed the highest at risk of extinction. “Turtles are found to have the lowest proportion of species in protected areas, with only 10 per cent of their range covered, even though they are one of the most endangered vertebrate groups in the world,” said Charles Darwin University researcher, Dr Eisemberg.
Reptiles that live in forest habitats are threatened by logging and agriculture, with 30 per cent of forest-dwelling reptiles facing a risk of extinction, compared to 14 per cent of arid habitat reptiles.
The researchers say conservation efforts must be increased worldwide. “Because reptiles are so diverse, they face a wide range of threats across a variety of habitats. A multifaceted action plan is necessary to protect these species, with all the evolutionary history they represent,” said Co-leader of the study and manager of the IUCN-Conservation International Biodiversity Assessment Unit Neil Cox.