A fifth of reptile species face extinction

STORY: A fifth of reptile species are at risk of extinction

according the first global status assessment for reptiles

LESLIE RISSLER, ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGIST AT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF):

“Species are declining at a rapid rate. Some estimates ten times, a hundred times, a thousand times more than the background rate of extinction that normally happens on the planet. So, we are at a really critical time in Earth's history.”

The study examined 10,196 reptile species

And found 21% are endangered

31 species are already extinct

The biggest threats they face include

hunting, deforestation and urban development

BRUCE YOUNG, CHIEF ZOOLOGIST AT NATURESERVE:

“You know, reptiles represent a unique evolutionary heritage on the tree of life, and if all of those 20% of reptiles that are threatened today go extinct, we will lose a cumulation of 15 billion years of evolution that has led to these fascinating creatures that we see around us today.”

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