Saturday, May 23, 2009

Many reptiles in Europe threatened with extinction

We already wrote about the serious mammals decline around the globe but sadly the same goes with reptiles, especially in Europe. Latest data by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shows how 21 percent of reptiles in Europe are at risk of going extinct. 23 percent of amphibians share the same risk.

As in many other cases around the globe the biggest factor for such decline is habitat loss. Humans need more and more space for themselves so they are destroying animal habitats leaving animals with no space needed for survival. Habitat loss is the biggest problem these animals are facing, but some other ecological problems are also playing their part in this sad story like climate change, pollution and the growing number of invasive species in their habitats.

Study also showed that more than half of frog, toad, salamander and newt species are experiencing serious decline in their population which has serious effect on many ecosystems across the Europe causing tremendous biodiversity loss across the whole continent. This latest reports shows how reptiles and amphibians in Europe are facing higher risk of extinction than for instance European birds or mammals.

Europe has 151 species of reptiles and 85 species of amphibian, many of which are only found on this continent. If current trend continues many of these species will be lost forever. Currently there are six reptiles classified as critically endangered, 11 are endangered, and 10 are vulnerable. This number will soon become much bigger unless something is done. What European leaders need to do is put more efforts in solving this issue as they have to find the way to make it easier for wildlife to thrive in these areas.

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