Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 10 October 2008
Environmental Changes Are Affecting Reptiles In this Issue

As far back as 2000, scientists and other concerned persons have expressed concerns about environmental changes and reptile life. As a matter of fact, the clearing of wetlands, especially in Third world countries have led to the extinction of some reptile life forms. In The Caribbean, the giant sea turtle is feared to now be extinct.

The six main environmental risks to the survival of reptiles includes pollution, climate change, destruction of their natural habitat, unsustainable use of land whether due to negligence or ignorance and the introduction of other species into the habitats of reptiles.

In some areas even the common lizard is being affected by environmental changes. Not only have changes in the environment lead to a disappearing reptile life, but it can and has resulted in changes in mating and even eating habits. This happens because reptiles are extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Being cold-blooded they respond quickly to temperature changes in water, air and land. Once the optimal temperature and humidity conditions are disturbed reptiles become stressed.

The sexual balance of some reptile species can also be impacted by climate change. Studies have shown that temperature impacts the sex determination of eggs in incubation for some reptiles. This can have serious implications for reproduction.

Luckily, sometimes the resilience of reptilian life can be a boon. The Jamaican iguana was once thought to be extinct due to clearing of the land. Decades later a Rastafarian working in the hills found one alive and well and researchers were able to find many more in the surrounding hills. Thanks to careful conservation efforts, these iguanas are once more thriving. In fact, many are now found in some animal sanctuaries and even being kept as pets.

What is happening to the world’s reptile population due to environmental changes is also an important indicator of greater environmental problems. In fact some conservation agencies use it as a way to measure how humans are impacting nature.

Serious consideration must now be given to ensuring that we protect the existing habitat of reptiles. 

Grand Cayman Blue Iguana

Grand Cayman Blue Iguana

(Click images to enlarge them)

Endangered Indian Gharial

Endangered Indian Gharial


  1. Environmental Changes Are Affecting Reptiles
  2. Indigo Snake versus Rattle Snake - A story in pictures
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Other Articles & Resources

Indigo Snake versus Rattle Snake - A story in pictures

This series of pictures came to me through the email. I'm not sure how many people have seen it or where it was even taken. TheIndigo snake is North Americas largest non-venomous snake and its diet consists of anything from frogs to lizards to mice to other snakes.

Indigo snakes are currently listed federally as a threatened species and their range is restricted to Florida and parts of Georgia. This magnificent and beautiful snake is vulnerable to land degradation and habitat loss and may well disappear in the future unless some measures are taken to preserve their habitat.

indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake
indigo snake and rattle snake


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In the News





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