Title

The conservation status of the world's reptiles

Authors

Monika Böhm, Zoological Society of London Institute of Zoology
Ben Collen, Zoological Society of London Institute of Zoology
Jonathan E.M. Baillie, Zoological Society of London
Philip Bowles, IUCN-CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit
Janice Chanson, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Neil Cox, IUCN-CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit
Geoffrey Hammerson, NatureServe
Michael Hoffmann, United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Suzanne R. Livingstone, University of Glasgow
Mala Ram, Zoological Society of London Institute of Zoology
Anders G.J. Rhodin, Chelonian Research Foundation
Simon N. Stuart, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Peter Paul van Dijk, Conservation International
Bruce E. Young, NatureServe
Leticia E. Afuang, University of the Philippines Los Banos
Aram Aghasyan, Bioresources Management Agency of Ministry of Nature Protection
Andrés García, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
César Aguilar, Museo de Historia Natural, Lima
Rastko Ajtic, Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia
Ferdi Akarsu, Doga Dernegi
Laura R.V. Alencar, Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP
Allen Allison, Bishop Museum
Natalia Ananjeva, Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Steve Anderson, University of the Pacific, California
Claes Andrén
Daniel Ariano-Sánchez, Asociación Zootropic
Juan Camilo Arredondo, Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP
Mark Auliya, Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung
Christopher C. Austin, Louisiana State University
Aziz Avci, Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi
Patrick J. Baker, Blackland Research and Extension Center
André F. Barreto-Lima, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
César L. Barrio-Amorós, Fundación Andígena
Dhruvayothi Basu, Katerniaghat Foundation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Abstract

Effective and targeted conservation action requires detailed information about species, their distribution, systematics and ecology as well as the distribution of threat processes which affect them. Knowledge of reptilian diversity remains surprisingly disparate, and innovative means of gaining rapid insight into the status of reptiles are needed in order to highlight urgent conservation cases and inform environmental policy with appropriate biodiversity information in a timely manner. We present the first ever global analysis of extinction risk in reptiles, based on a random representative sample of 1500 species (16% of all currently known species). To our knowledge, our results provide the first analysis of the global conservation status and distribution patterns of reptiles and the threats affecting them, highlighting conservation priorities and knowledge gaps which need to be addressed urgently to ensure the continued survival of the world's reptiles. Nearly one in five reptilian species are threatened with extinction, with another one in five species classed as Data Deficient. 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 Southeast Asia, and among fossorial reptiles. Our results emphasise the need for research attention to be focussed on tropical areas which are experiencing the most dramatic rates of habitat loss, on fossorial reptiles for which there is a chronic lack of data, and on certain taxa such as snakes for which extinction risk may currently be underestimated due to lack of population information. Conservation actions specifically need to mitigate the effects of human-induced habitat loss and harvesting, which are the predominant threats to reptiles. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Biological Conservation

First Page

372

Last Page

385

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