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Summary of Key Findings

These summary statistics and analyses are based on the European reptiles dataset published in May 2009.

Overall, approximately one fifth of reptiles are considered threatened in Europe. A further 13% of reptiles are considered Near Threatened. By comparison, 23% of European amphibians, 15% of European mammals and 13% of European birds are threatened. No other groups have yet been comprehensively assessed at the European level. More than two-fifths (42%) of reptile species are declining and the same percentage is stable; only 3% are increasing.

The majority of threatened and Near Threatened reptile species are endemic to both Europe and the EU, highlighting the responsibility that European countries have to protect the entire global populations of these species. All Critically Endangered species and the vast majority of Endangered and Vulnerable species are endemic to both Europe and the EU.

Reptile biodiversity increases from north to south in Europe, with the highest species richness being found in the Balkan peninsula. The Iberian, Italian and Balkan peninsulas are all important areas of species richness, as are the Mediterranean and Macaronesian islands. Habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation are the greatest threats to reptiles in Europe. Other major threats include pollution, overharvesting, and deliberate persecution (for reptiles especially).