It was only a matter of time before conservationists got around to evaluating global reptile populations. And when they did—surprise, surprise!—the news was not so good. Science Daily provides the details in Slithering Towards Extinction: Reptiles in Trouble.
Feb. 14, 2013 — Nineteen percent of the world's reptiles are estimated to be threatened with extinction, states a paper published February 14 by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in conjunction with experts from the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC).
The study, printed in the journal of Biological Conservation, is the first of its kind summarising the global conservation status of reptiles [link below]. More than 200 world renowned experts assessed the extinction risk of 1,500 randomly selected reptiles from across the globe.
Out of the estimated 19% of reptiles threatened with extinction, 12% classified as Critically Endangered, 41% Endangered and 47% Vulnerable...
Dr. Monika Böhm, lead author on the paper: "Reptiles are often associated with extreme habitats and tough environmental conditions, so it is easy to assume that they will be fine in our changing world.
"However, many species are very highly specialised in terms of habitat use and the climatic conditions they require for day to day functioning. This makes them particularly sensitive to environmental changes," Dr. Böhm added.
Extinction risk is not evenly spread throughout this highly diverse group: freshwater turtles are at particularly high risk, mirroring greater levels of threat in freshwater biodiversity around the world.
Overall, this study estimated 30% of freshwater reptiles to be close to extinction, which rises to 50% when considering freshwater turtles alone, as they are also affected by national and international trade.
The image accompanying the text is taken from the Turtles In Trouble, a 2011 report by the Turtle Conservation Society which focuses on the world’s 25+ most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.
You can read the study itself here (pdf, Biological Conservation 157 (2013) 372–385).
I do not feel like beating around the bush today.
Life on Earth is in the early stages of a rapidly accelerating mass extinction due to the rapacious activity of a bipedal, big-brained primate which can neither control its own population size, nor curb its bottomless appetite for greater convenience and more stuff, including other animals.These primates are only peripherally aware that their actions are wreaking such great destruction, as I shall demonstrate with this quote from The Guardian—
But the risk of extinction was found to be unevenly spread throughout the extremely diverse group of animals. According to the paper, an alarming 50% of all freshwater turtles are close to extinction, possibly because they are traded on international markets.
Possibly because these freshwater turtles are traded on international markets?
You get my point.
We are entitled to ask some simple questions about the future trajectory of this mass extinction, to wit—
What will a survey like this one find 40 or 50 years from now? That 50% of the world's reptiles are on the verge of extinction? That almost all of the world's tortoises and freshwater turtles are gone?
Will conservationists even be doing such surveys 40 or 50 years from now? Maybe they won't be able to carry them out, or maybe they'll be saying "what's the point?"
The first video below (reptiles) has had 954 views on youtube. The second one (mass extinctions) has had 7 views.
Justin Bieber's As Long As You Love Me has had 113,827,555 views.
So please remind me now in 2013 — what's the point?