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Current Status and Possible Causes of Reptile’s Decline

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Zoology, Bankura Sammilani College, Bankura, INDIA
  • 2 Department of Zoology, Kulti College, Kulti, INDIA

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 3, Issue (9), Pages 75-79, September,22 (2014)


Among poikilothermic terrestrial vertebrates, reptile plays an important role for maintaining the ecological balance of nature by balancing the food chain. They perform a vital role both as prey species and predator. As predator of insects, rodents, and other pest species they provide a significant benefit to agriculture and recreational activities. Similarly reptiles provide food for small mammals, birds, and other animals. Some reptiles are even used in traditional medicines, Skin of various reptiles used for creation of shoes, handbags and belts, and tortoise shell is used for jewellery and decoration purpose. However due to several anthropogenic reasons, today the reptilian population is at stake. According to IUCN, the number of critically endangered species of reptile have increased from 73 to 164, the number of endangered species have increased from 101 to 329 and vulnerable species of from 187 to 386 in between 2006 to 2013. Also this result is the reflection of only 4204 evaluated species among the total of 9831 species of reptiles. This trend will surely increase on evaluation of increased number of species. Many factors play a role on reptile population decline. Some factors are natural process but other factors like habitat loss and fragmentation, predation by and competition with non-native and invasive species, natural calamity, UV radiation, environmental pollution, and disease play a significant role for reptiles decline. Due to global climate change these reptiles are also at the stake. The biology and ecology of reptiles are tightly related to temperature and moisture. Their phenology, demography, and habitat choice is sensitive to climatic factors. In reptiles, the timing of the seasonal activities, hibernation, aestivation, and breeding are tightly related to climatic conditions. For better conservation strategy a long-term monitoring process should be needed where populations are predicted to become extirpated, so that we can accurately determine what the probable causes of reptile decline are. Similarly Common peoples participation and awareness about importance of the reptiles for their survival should be needed.


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