From: Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published November 10, 2011 02:55 PM

40% of Madagascar's reptiles at risk of extinction

40 percent of Madagascar's terrestrial reptiles are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and over-collection for the pet trade, reports the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its latest update of the Red List of Threatened Species. Experts from around the world conducted the assessment of 370 native terrestrial reptile species found in Madagascar, including snakes, lizards, crocodiles, turtles, and tortoises. Overall 22 were found to be critically endangered, or at immediate risk of going extinct.


The "critically endangered" is dominated by tortoises, chameleons, and geckos sought after in the exotic pet trade or limited to a narrow geographic range, often due to habitat destruction. Notable members of the list include the Radiated Tortoise, the Ploughshare Tortoise, the Madagascar Big-headed Turtle, the Flat-tailed Tortoise, the Spider Tortoise, the Belalanda Chameleon, the Namoroka Leaf Chameleon, Tarzan's Chameleon, and Rothschild's Skink.

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