1 in 5 reptile species at risk: study

AFP-JIJI

Almost 1 in 5 of the world’s reptile species are in danger of extinction as their habitats are cleared away for farming and logging, a new report says.

An assessment by more than 200 experts of 1,500 randomly selected species of snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and other reptiles found that 19 percent are threatened, said the report in the journal Biological Conservation. More than a tenth of species are listed as critically endangered, 41 percent are endangered and nearly half are vulnerable.

Freshwater turtles are particularly at risk, with nearly half of species believed to be close to extinction, said the report, compiled by the Zoological Society of London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission.

Among freshwater reptiles as a group, a third were estimated to be close to extinction.