Environment: Europe’s amphibians and reptiles under threat
One fifth of Europe’s reptiles and nearly a quarter of its amphibians are threatened, according to new studies commissioned by the European Commission and carried out by IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature). The studies, to be presented on World Biodiversity Day, constitute the first European Red Lists for amphibians and reptiles, and reveal alarming population trends. More than half of all European amphibians (59 percent) and 42 percent of reptiles are in decline, which means that amphibians and reptiles are even more at risk than European mammals and birds. For 23 percent of amphibians and 21 percent of reptiles the situation is so severe that they are classified as threatened in the European Red List. Most of the pressure on these declining species comes from mankind's destruction of their natural habitats, combined with climate change, pollution and the presence of invasive species.