Global Reptile Assessment


About This Project

The assessment is a collaboration between the IUCN, NatureServe, and other organizations. NatureServe is playing a critical role in conducting assessment workshops for species occurring in the Western Hemisphere. Recent workshops covered Middle America (2012) and Colombia (2013).

Goal

This project is an ongoing assessment of the conservation status of all the world’s nearly 10,000 reptile (lizard, snake, turtle, crocodile, tuatara) species, involving hundreds of scientists from around the globe. The goal of this project is to summarize information on the distribution, abundance, trend, threats, and conservation needs for all of the world’s reptile species. It is the first comprehensive assessment of global reptile conservation status.

Significance

Reptiles are the only remaining group of tetrapods for which a comprehensive assessment of species conservation status has not been completed. The Global Reptile Assessment will help the conservation community to identify species and areas most in need of protection, management, or further research.

A recent preliminary assessment of 1,500 reptile species found that about one in five species is threatened with extinction, and another one in five is too poorly known for a conservation assessment to be made. Human-induced habitat loss and harvesting emerged as the predominant threats, and lack of adequate information about many reptile species may be causing an underestimation of extinction risk.