The green vine snake (Ahaetulla nasuta ) is among the world's reptiles that face extinction. Photograph: Ruchira Somaweera/IUCN/ZSL
Nearly one in five of the world's estimated 10,000 species of lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles and other reptiles are threatened with extinction, according to a study conducted by 200 experts.
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.
The study, published by the Zoological Society of London in conjunction with the IUCN species survival commission, is the first of its kind summarising the global conservation status of reptiles, and used 1,500 randomly selected reptiles worldwide.
Out of the estimated 19% of reptiles threatened with extinction, in order of magnitude of danger, 12% are classified as critically endangered, 41% endangered and 47% vulnerable.
Chamaeleo laterispinis, found in the mountains of Tanzania, is also on the list of reptiles facing extinction threat. Photograph: Michele Menegon/IUCN/ZSL