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Study: More than a fifth of reptile species face extinction

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This post was updated on May 31, 2022.

In the most comprehensive review yet of the risks facing reptiles, scientists find that more than a fifth of all these species are threatened with extinction. 

A new study, published today in Nature, assesses more than 10,000 reptiles around the world — from turtles, snakes and lizards to crocodiles — and warns that humanity must conserve them to prevent dramatic changes to Earth’s critical ecosystems. 

“Reptiles are one of the most diverse groups of vertebrates — we’re talking about species that have been largely overlooked in conservation studies — and the potential loss is striking,” said Conservation International
scientist Neil Cox, who co-led the study.  

“This threat analysis is the most extensive to date. We’ve found more reptile species are threatened than birds, a sign that global efforts to conserve them must be ramped up.”

A photograph of a Carter’s Semaphore Gecko (Pristurus carteri). The species is endemic to Oman. (© Johannes Els)

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