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Extinction looming for reptiles

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Dear EarthTalk: How are the world's reptile species faring in terms of population numbers and endangered status? What's being done, if anything, to help them?

— Vicky Desmond, Troy, NY

The world’s reptiles — turtles, snakes, lizards, alligators and crocodiles — are indeed in trouble. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, which publishes an annual global roster of threatened and endangered species called the Red List, considers some 664 species of reptiles — representing more than 20 percent of known reptile species worldwide — as endangered or facing extinction. Meanwhile, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service considers about 10 percent of American reptiles threatened or endangered.

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