The University of Cape Town’s Animal Demography Unit (UCT ADU), in partnership with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), launches their book Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland on April 16, 2014. This publication details the outcomes of the South African Reptile Conservation Assessment (SARCA), the most thorough assessment of reptile conservation ever completed in Africa. The Atlas was a massive undertaking, incurring about two and a half years of delay since the submission of the original manuscript. One reason for the delay was the increasing rate of change in reptile taxonomy, the manuscript had to be updated almost twice a day!
In the Atlas, the conservation status of over 420 species and sub-species of reptiles is analyzed in a series of distribution maps, published literature, and the collective expertise of leading experts. This publication is quite unique as it is the first of its kind to print photos of all of the reptiles in the region along with detailed ranges on the distribution maps. The analysis found that the conservation of one-fifth of all of the species and sub-species of reptiles are of extinction concern, mostly due to habitat destruction and alteration.
On April 16th, 2014, the University of Cape Town will be hosting a launch party for the Atlas at the Pretoria National Botanical Garden where they will be discussing more about the conservation status and threats impacting South Africa’s Reptile Species. The JRS Biodiversity Foundation provided $135,057 in funding to the SARCA project from 2008 to 2010. JRS is grateful for the support provided to SARCA by the University of Cape Town, the UCT Animal Demography Unit, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa and SANBI. To learn more about this grant, please click here.