Threatening levels and extinction risks based on distributional, ecological and life-history datasets (DELH) versus IUCN criteria: example of Serbian reptiles
Ajtić, Rastko D.
Ljubisavljević, Katarina M.
Kalezić, Miloš L.
Džukić, Georg V.
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Recent studies on the world reptiles' extinction risks pointed out that about 20 \% of species are threatened, with another 20 \% are data-deficient following IUCN criteria. IUCN set up criteria for assessment of extinction risk at global and regional scales, relying on distribution data, population parameters and quantitative analyses. Only 12 \% of reptilian species were listed as globally threatened upon population data. Long-term population studies are time-consuming, thus it would be practical to use some other parameters for estimations of extinction risks. Threatening level (and extinction risks) of Serbian reptiles have never been investigated. We aimed to scrutinize species threatening level (thus set up conservation priorities) on the basis of distributional, ecological and life-history datasets (DELH). We estimated which traits are the most important for the conservation of species. Separately, we used IUCN criteria for regional level to assess extinction risk and compared them with the results obtained by analyses of DELH datasets. The two types of criteria gave similar estimates for the chelonian species. In snakes, two species exhibited higher conservation scores by DELH than by IUCN criteria, the opposite being true for two other species. In lizards, only two species had higher extinction risks by IUCN whereas five lizards were more threatened according to DELH. Our intention was not discredit the values of IUCN criteria for setting regional (or national) extinction risks, but to suggest that use of additional features other than IUCN could be valuable for estimation of threatening level and setting conservation priorities for cases where precise distribution and population data are not available.