Are Reptiles Going Extinct


G. Cruz

On the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, over 2,000 reptile species are classified as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered, according to a recent analysis of over 10,000 species. Nature reported the findings of the study.

“This work is a very significant achievement — it adds to our knowledge of where threatened species are, and where we must work to protect them,” Duke University ecologist Stuart Pimm, who, according to the Associated Press, was not involved in the study.

According to the report, 40.7 percent of amphibians, 25.4 percent of mammals, and 13.6 percent of birds are threatened with extinction, but detailed evaluations of reptiles are unavailable. They add that because of this gap, reptiles have been left out of conservation priority calculations. Reptiles, like other mammals, birds, and amphibians, suffer dangers such as habitat degradation, invasive species, and illness, according to the research.

Turtles, with 60 percent of species at risk of extinction, and crocodiles, with 50 percent, are the reptiles most at peril. According to the report, 31 reptile species have gone extinct since 1500, while 40 highly endangered species are “probably extinct.”

Reptiles in forests are more vulnerable than those in deserts, grasslands, shrublands, and savannahs, contrary to the scientists’ predictions. Forest settings are home to more than half of all reptile species.

The findings of this study give tremendous impetus for conservation in Africa to move on. The findings revealed that forest reptiles are under greater peril than previously thought. We can now relate forest loss to reptiles’ high danger level because the African continent is now experiencing significant habitat loss, particularly for indigenous forests.