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Turtles, lizards, crocodiles, and snakes are all considered reptiles. Reptiles in each of these species can be found on the list of endangered reptiles, meaning there is a strong chance of it becoming extinct. Various factors that can lead to extinction include climate change, a change in the ratio of predators to prey, loss of habitat, and human activity. Loss of habitat is the most common cause of a species becoming endangered.
Several types of sea turtles are endangered reptiles. These include the loggerhead, leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtles. Multiple factors have caused sea turtles to become endangered.
Sea turtles can weigh as much as 300 pounds (136.08 kg). They lay their eggs on land where the females are vulnerable to predators because their heavy weight makes them move slowly when out of their aquatic environment. Human poachers are another threat to the female turtle on land.
Some cultures consider turtle eggs a delicacy. Turtle soup is also popular in some places, so parts of live sea turtles are removed to make turtle soup. Human settlements and recreational activities have decreased the territory suitable for the females to lay their eggs, which sometimes causes the female to either lay her eggs in an environment inadequate for nesting or to abort entirely.
The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world and is capable of reaching a length of 12 feet (3.66 m). Its primary cause of endangerment is loss of habitat because of human development. Illegal hunting has further decimated the number of these endangered reptiles.
The Siamese crocodile is on the list of endangered reptiles. Loss of habitat has contributed to the crocodile’s declining numbers. Farmers in Cambodia and Thailand have drained much of the crocodile’s swampy terrain in order to increase the amount of farmland. Crocodile skin is valuable, so human poachers have helped decrease the number of crocodiles even further. It is believed that global warming has also contributed to the demise of many Siamese crocodiles.
Snakes that are endangered reptiles include the San Francisco garter snake and the eastern indigo. Increased development has reduced the habitat of the San Francisco garter snake, and pollution has helped decrease its numbers. Development of large amounts of land in the southern part of the United States is the primary reason the eastern indigo is on the endangered reptiles list.
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