Addressing knowledge gaps in reptile conservation

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Abstract

Reptiles are the most species-rich group of terrestrial vertebrates, yet we lack a comprehensive understanding of their extinction risk. Only 45% of described reptile species have been assessed by IUCN to date (4648 of 10,400 species); of these, 20% (945 species) are threatened with extinction, and 19% (867 species) are Data Deficient. The goal of this special issue is to improve our understanding of reptile conservation needs and extinction risk by (i) investigating patterns and drivers of extinction risk and data deficiency at a global scale; (ii) identifying and addressing taxonomic and regional gaps in our understanding of extinction risk and data deficiency; and (iii) drawing upon detailed case studies to highlight conservation approaches to mitigate extinction. By doing so, the special issue will guide future conservation efforts toward the taxa and regions in greatest need of assessment, and toward risks requiring immediate mitigation. We conclude with potential avenues for future research, including the need to address regional knowledge gaps, conduct macroecological and retrospective analyses of extinction risk, and implement targeted monitoring of conservation intervention outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume204
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Data deficient
  • Extinction
  • IUCN
  • Prioritization
  • Threat

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