Terug naar het overzicht

Study maps out reptiles’ ranges, completing the ‘atlas of life’

17 / 10 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

Across the swath of vertebrate lifeforms that inhabit Earth, scientists have a pretty good idea about where most of the known land mammals, birds and amphibians live. That makes identifying areas for protection where a lot of these animals live relatively straightforward, even if the details of actually protecting these places are far more complicated. But plotting out the diversity of reptiles, which account for a third of all vertebrate species, has been a more elusive goal, leaving questions as to whether current conservation strategies protect this class of animals. Now, a global team of researchers reports that they’ve figured out where more than 10,000 reptile species live, completing an “atlas of life” that could guide future conservation efforts. A Robinson’s Forest Dragon (Malayodracon robisonii). Photo by co-author Lee Grismer / La Sierra University in California. “Mapping the distributions of all reptiles was considered too difficult to tackle,” said co-author Shai Meiri, a zoologist at Tel Aviv University in Israel, in a statement. “But thanks to a team of experts on the lizards and snakes of some of the most poorly known regions of the world we managed to achieve this, and hopefully contribute to the conservation of these often elusive vertebrates.” Until now, the siting of protected areas to safeguard biodiversity has relied on information about where the most plants, birds and mammals — and to a lesser extent, amphibians — live. To date, that includes 10,000 birds, 6,000 amphibians and 5,000 mammals. Without data on reptiles, planners often…

Naar artikel