New publication: patterns of extinction risk in Australian snakes and lizards

July 14th, 2019

Despite being a global hotspot of reptile diversity, the conservation status of the Australian squamate fauna has not been assessed for over 25 years.

With over 1020 species recorded, Australia is a global hotspot for reptile diversity, and hosts ~10% of the world’s reptile species. However, our understanding of the population sizes and trends of Australian reptiles, the threats they face, and the effectiveness of the current protected area network to conserve those that are threatened is very limited. These knowledge gaps are among the biggest conservation challenges for the Australian reptiles.

Species richness of Australian squamates.

The Ecosystem Change Ecology team’s, Ru Somaweera, along with 52 other leading herpetologists from Australia conducted the first comprehensive assessment of terrestrial snakes and lizards of Australia. This recent review represents a major step toward addressing these knowledge gaps. This work is anticipated to draw attention to species of conservation concern and spur targeted research and management on species that needs it most, thereby greatly improving our knowledge of, and conservation efforts for, this diverse group.

Read more by downloading the paper here.

Tingley, R. and 52 co-authors, including Somaweera, R. (2019) Geographic and taxonomic patterns of extinction risk in Australian squamates. Biological Conservation, 238, 108203.