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

New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”