Science in Action this Week: July 20, 2010

Reptile Decline

Two recent studies are finding that lizard and snake populations are in decline and one of the causes appears to be climate change.

comments

  • Don

    Before the Academy spreads global warming propaganda perhaps some scientific analyses would be in order. This is a study based on 30 year old field notes that found a decline in lizards: To quote the study: “These are protected areas, so the habitat’s still there. So you start to think there is something else going on.”

    Yes, something else is going on: the popularity of keeping lizards as pets. Here are some refereneces for you to consider.

    Reptile Trade from Mexico: “The illegal skins trade in Mexico represents millions of dollars annually on the black market.” http://www1.american.edu/ted/REPTILE.HTM
    Mexico in the International Reptile Skin Trade: a Case Study

    There is an explosion of exotic pets, including lizards, in the UK http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/arti… “The popularity of reptiles as pets is exploding.

    http://www.endangeredspecieshandbook.org/trade_… “The luxury reptile leather trade has pushed many species toward extinction, and it shows no signs of declining.”

    http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/globalmarkets… “Scientists recognize some 6,000 species of reptiles in five different groups: Reptiles are traded live as pets and for their parts, particularly their skins. In addition, some reptiles are used as food and to make traditional medicines.”

  • Don

    One more point on the Lizard video: The hypothesis is ridiculous. Earth temperatures are not uniform, but vary by hour, season, altitude, and latitude. There are also trends from solar and oceanic cycles. Lizards have been here for millions of years and survived warm and cold periods. It was probably two or three degrees warmer about 6,000 years ago when the Sahara was lush and wet. How did lizards survive these enormous changes but are impacted by an alleged 0.4 C change since the late 1970’s? The Academy should be embarrassed by lending its name to this absurd video.

  • Kim

    I think it is always important to remember that just because a species or a group of species survived through a past time period, it doesn't automatically stand to reason that they will survive through another. With time can come environmental change; and one or more factors may work together in a novel way to impact some organisms directly or indirectly in a way that they haven't been impacted before. A study like this calls other scientists to the table to do more investigating which is a good thing, I think, for all species.

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    With time can come environmental change; and one or more factors may
    work together in a novel way to impact some organisms directly or
    indirectly in a way that they haven't been impacted before.

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    One more point on the Lizard video: The hypothesis is ridiculous. Earth
    temperatures are not uniform, but vary by hour, season, altitude, and
    latitude. 

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    Lizards have been here for millions of years and survived warm and cold periods.

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    How did lizards survive these enormous changes but are impacted by an alleged 0.4 C change since the late 1970’s?

  • http://midwesternsteamclean.com/ fort collins carpet cleaning

    I think it is always important to remember that just because a species
    or a group of species survived through a past time period, it doesn't
    automatically stand to reason that they will survive through another. 

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