The research was the product of the efforts of 200 world renowned experts who assessed the extinction risk of 1,500 randomly selected reptiles from across the globe. The results were documented by Dr. Monika Böhm of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and confirmed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC).
The report estimated that 19 percent of reptiles are threatened with extinction, 12 percent are classified as Critically Endangered, 41 percent Endangered, and 47 percent Vulnerable based on IUCN standards.
Loss of habitat is noted as the major cause of the extinction threat. The majority of reptiles are specialized to a particular habitat and cannot or may not survive a move to new territories imposed by human activity. A large majority of the threatened species do not thrive in captivity although captive breeding is the only solution for some of the most threatened species of reptiles.
Freshwater turtles are particularly at risk. The freshwater turtle populations are expected to be 50 percent extinct in less than 50 years.
This study is the largest reptile extinction examination ever attempted.