Reptiles that are in danger of extinction because of humans

1 in 5 reptile species are threatened with extinction and could disappear from Earth forever, reveals the largest comprehensive study to date.

It was already known that the global climate crisis would bring about a mass extinction of species. From various branches of science, biologists, zootechnicians and even astrophysicists have joined efforts to measure the severity of the impacts on the terrestrial biosphere. However, never before had a comprehensive study been conducted to account for how many species critically endangered by humans.

Recently, Nature published a report indicating that 21% of reptiles on Earth are in danger of extinction. This would mean that 1 in 5 species could disappear of the planet forever, because of human activity. This was what they found.

A collapse for global biodiversity

Ozge Elif Kizil / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Currently, given the seriousness of the climate crisis, there are studies that suggest that the collapse of civilization will come in 2040. Among the consequences for life on the planet, the biological diversity is seriously threatened. For this reason, a multidisciplinary team from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature set itself the goal of measure how many of the species were at risk.

“Comprehensive assessments of species extinction risks have documented the extinction crisis and supported strategies to reduce those risks,” the authors write in Nature.

Scientists at Conservation International’s Biodiversity Assessment Unit determined there are 4 main obstacles. Agriculture, logging, urban development and invasive species they are the main risk factors for thousands of threatened species. Among the most affected species, the reptiles that live in the forests «are more threatened than those in arid habitats“, the scientists conclude.

In total, the researchers took into account more than 10 thousand 196 species of reptileswhich were evaluated based on Red List parameters of endangered species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). At the end of the study, it turned out that 1,829 of them were threatened, vulnerable or critically endangered.

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The issue of the black market and the destruction of natural habitats

endangered reptiles
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The biggest concern of the scientists who conducted the study are, without a doubt, endangered reptiles. Especially the turtles and crocodiles, which «require urgent and specific measures to prevent extinctions“, write the authors. However, not only these species face mass extinction.

According to the report, the percentages of other groups of animals in danger of extinction are distributed as follows:

  • More than 40% of amphibians
  • 25% of mammals
  • 13% of birds

For scientists, the control of black trade and habitat care of mammals and other groups of animals “will probably also benefit many reptiles”. In this regard, Neil Cox, manager of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit of IUCN-Conservation International, explains that now at least we know the threats for each species.

Knowing these figures encourages scientists to take action in this regard, in collaboration with the global community and the governments of each country. “The world community can take the next step,” says Cox, “…and invest to reverse the serious biodiversity crisisoften too underestimated.

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