About a fifth of reptile species are endangered, including more than half of all turtles and crocodiles, according to the first global assessment of the cold-blooded creature.
In a new report published in the journal Natureresearchers evaluated 10,196 reptile species using criteria from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and found that at least 21% of the species are currently vulnerable, endangered or extremely dangerous.
This is the first time that scientists have given a complete picture of the proportion of reptiles at risk, although before that the threat to other groups of organisms has been well documented, namely: more than 40% in amphibians, 25% in mammals and 13% in birds.
“We now know the threats each reptile species faces, so the global community can take the next step by joining conservation plans with policy and investment agreements.” investment to turn around the biodiversity crisis is being underestimated,” study lead author Neil Cox, manager of the Conservation International Biodiversity Assessment Unit from IUCN, told AFP.
Among reptiles, crocodiles and turtles are the most endangered, with 58% and 50% of the species threatened, respectively. Cox explains that crocodiles are killed for their meat or to remove them from human settlements, while turtles are the target of the pet trade and traditional medicinal uses.
Another famous endangered species is the king cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world. It can grow up to 5 m long and hunts other snakes in the forest in a wide area from India to Southeast Asia. However, it was classified as “vulnerable” or “vulnerable” in the latest report.
“It’s a truly iconic species in Asia and it’s sad that even such common species are in decline,” Cox said, adding that logging and deliberate human attacks are the biggest threats to king cobras.
Climate change has also been identified as a direct threat to about 10% of reptile species, although the study suggests that may be an underestimate. Cox’s team hopes the new review will spur international action to halt biodiversity loss.
Doan Duong (According to AFP)
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