A fifth of the world’s skinks face extinction

A common sun skink (Eutropis multifasciata) in Cambodia. Credit: Joshua Rapp Learn

Agriculture, invasive species, harvesting and pet trade are threatening 20% of the world’s skink species with extinction. According to the first “comprehensive evaluation” of the world’s 1,714 described skink species, nine have already gone extinct, or extinct in the wild, according to criteria posted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Some of the most threatened groups of these lizards live in the Madagascar and the tropical regions of the Americas. Many of the imperiled lizards are in the subfamilies Mabuyinae, Eugongylinae and Scincinae. Researchers also found that the distributions of 61% of skink species don’t overlap with protected areas, though the IUCN still lacks conservation data on 22% of skink species worldwide. The authors of the study noted that reptile conservation reptiles lags behind that of other land-based vertebrates. 

Read more at Biological Conservation.