Generally underserved by conservation efforts, endangered reptiles finally included in EDGE action alerts.
This glorious punk rock turtle is the Mary River Turtle and it has been added to the Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species list this year. That’s right, it’s evolutionarily distinct from similar species ( its the only member of its genus) and it’s at risk of extinction. Despite being on this earth for 40 million years, the mary river turtle has been no match for human intervention in its environment. Its habitat, in Queensland Australia, is now being severely disrupted by the building of a dam.
Thankfully, its fine sense of style and its addition to the EDGE listing has gained attention from conservationists and work is being done to prevent IT’S demise but this guy wasn’t the only shell to be added to the list.
From the pig-nose turtle to the Radiated Tortoise, turtles, tortoises, and terrapins make up a HUGE portion of EDGE’s reptilian additions. Lack of long-term data and research on reptiles and general lack of public attention has left them out of EDGE’s protection and lacking strong conservation efforts. In fact, this is the FIRST YEAR reptiles have been added. Reptiles have been underserved by conservation efforts in general, according to Rikki Gumbs, co-ordinator of Edge reptiles, partly because they aren’t cuddly or fluffy and “ freak people out”.
“Reptiles often receive the short end of the stick in conservation terms, compared with the likes of birds and mammals. However, the Edge reptiles list highlights just how unique, vulnerable and amazing these creatures really are.”
“Just as with tigers, rhinos and elephants, it is vital we do our utmost to save these unique and too often overlooked animals. Many Edge reptiles are the sole survivors of ancient lineages, whose branches of the tree of life stretch back to the age of the dinosaurs. If we lose these species there will be nothing like them left on Earth.”
An important point for day 3 for International Turtle and Tortoise Week and we couldn’t agree more. Heres hoping things start changing for the better for our threatened and endangered shell friends and all their reptilian friends as well.