Expansion of agriculture and urbanization are some of the threats to the survival of reptiles.  (Source: Unsplash/rigel)

At least 21.1% of the species of reptiles around the world are at risk of extinction, according to new research published in the journal nature last Wednesday (27). Turtles and crocodiles are the reptile orders with the highest proportion of risk, with 57.9% and 50% of their species in danger of extinction, respectively.

The research evaluated 10,196 species of reptiles and had the collaboration of 961 scientists from several countries around the world between the years 2004 and 2019. The analysis was carried out through the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature ( IUCN).

About 1,829 different species are threatened, according to the survey. Most of the species at risk are concentrated in Southeast Asia, West Africa, northern Madagascar, northern Andes and the Caribbean. In addition, reptiles that inhabit forests are at greater risk of extinction than those that live in arid regions.

Threats to habitats

Expansion of agriculture and urbanization are some of the threats to the survival of reptiles. (Source: Unsplash/rigel)Source: unsplash/rigel

According to the analysis, the biggest threats to the reptile species are the destruction of habitats through the expansion of agriculture, urbanization and logging. Hunting and fishing also have a strong negative effect, particularly for crocodiles and turtles.

The researchers say that protecting habitats is one of the most important measures for conserving these species. Research also shows that protecting areas where mammals, amphibians and birds live has a positive effect on conserving endangered reptile species.

ARTICLE Nature: doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04664-7

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