Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

ZSL publishes list of threatened reptiles
The Mary River turtle is ranked at number 30 on the reptile EDGE list.

Madagascar big-headed turtles top the EDGE list 

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has published a list of reptiles that are heading for extinction unless urgent action is taken, in a bid to help focus conservation efforts.

Madagascar big-headed turtles topped the list of 100 Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) reptiles.

Other species included on the list include the world’s largest sea turtle, the leatherback, at number 85; the Mary River turtle at number 30 and the gharial, a freshwater crocodile that was once common across much of Asia, but is now confined to a handful of rivers in northern India and Nepal.

ZSL first established lists of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) species in 2007. Lists were previously created for amphibians, birds, corals and mammals, but now attention has turned to reptiles.

The latest ranking highlights 100 species that are a conservation priority. Each species is given an EDGE score based on the risk of extinction and how isolated or unusual that species is on the ‘tree of life’.

The reptile list is backed by a study published in PLOS ONE.

Commenting on the findings, ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme manager, Dr Nisha Owen, said: “When EDGE launched in 2007, our vision was to shine a light on those species that, if they were allowed to go extinct, would effectively take an entire branch of the Tree of Life with them.

“Over the intervening decade, our EDGE Fellows have worked to save everything from pangolins and echidnas, to the Chinese giant salamander and Philippine Eagle.

“We’re delighted to now be expanding the programme to embrace reptiles as well, highlighting a whole additional class of Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered wildlife while also empowering a new generation of field conservationists striving worldwide to secure their protection.”

Image © ZSL Chris Van Wyk

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”