EDGE Forum » General

Egyptian Reptiles and Animals Needing Conservation Attention

(4 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Nature_Egypt
  • Latest reply from Alexandra Cameron-Smith
  1. Nature_Egypt
    Member

    We were thrilled to learn of the Edge Initiative but disappointed it did not cover reptiles.

    We have an existing project for Egyptian Tortoise (previously had ZSL support). This species is critically endangered. We would like to extend our activities to Libya where there is a sizeable population. Egyptian Toroise is mainly endangered by collection from the wild for the pet trade. Habitat conservation and local community involvement are also essential.

    Other animal in eminent danger is the Grass Loving Lizard (possibly one of the most threatened species in Egypt). Only known from one small habitat in Wadi Naturn in Egypt. This area is rapidly being developed due to urban expansion and land reclaimation...There is another population in Libya but the Egyptian population could be distinct seperate species, more research is needed. We need to collect some individuals from Egypt for a captive breeding program, survey and protect its habitats in Wadi El Naturn, devise a species action plan and conduct DNA tests to determine the status of the species.

    We have many other animals (as well as plants) in Egypt that could be edge species such as our gazalles and rodents. We would like to know the process about how to nonimate these species to be Edge Species. Also, would like the Edge program to consider including reptiles, insects and even plants.

    All the best,

    Mindy Baha El Din
    Board Member and Manager
    Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE)
    Registered Egyptian NGO

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. Alexandra Cameron-Smith
    Member

    Dear Mindy,

    EDGE species are both evolutionarily distinct (i.e. come from an ancient lineage) and globally endangered (according to the IUCN Red List rating). Our scientists combine these two factors using evolutionary trees and IUCN data, which then assigns species with an 'EDGE rank'. Occasionally the EDGE trees are re-evaluated if there are new species or their status on the Red List changes, but it is not possible to 'nominate' a species to become an EDGE species as such. For more information on EDGE methods please look at: http://www.edgeofexistence.org/about/edge_science.php

    Currently we only have EDGE lists for mammals and amphibians, also we have a top ten corals list but this is under reconstruction. There are EDGE sharks, EDGE birds and EDGE gymnosperms in the pipeline but we are unsure when these lists will be given to us.

    Unfortunately at present we do not have an EDGE tree for reptiles, but hopefully there will be one developed in the future. Our long-term goal is to have EDGE lists for all the taxa on the planet, but as you can understand this will take a long time. At present we have limited funding so we have to consider this in all our actions.

    We offer a two-year Fellowship for early-career in-country conservationists who are working on or intend to work on a project for an EDGE species or an evolutionarily distinct and data deficient (ED-DD) species, because we want to give people from developing countries the opportunity to develop long-term conservation projects for species that we think are most in need and give them the practical skills necessary to help their careers. For more information on our Fellows scheme and how to apply please contact us at fellows@edgeofexistence.org.

    I hope this helps to answer your questions, it would be wonderful to be able to have a fellow from Egypt!

    Regards

    Alex

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. Nature_Egypt
    Member

    Thanks for the response. Hope u will consider reptiles before it becomes too late to save the following species that are "critically endangered" and certainly meet EDGE critera: Egyptian Tortoise: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/21652/0 and Grass Loving Lizard http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/61542/0

    Below are two species found in Egypt that qualify and could be considered. I have been a conservationist a long time and know that it is "human" not "natural sellection" that ultimately sets the conservation priorities. There are more species but I have yet to master using the new improved IUCN Red List website...

    Egyptian Vulture http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/106003371/0
    Slender-horned Gazalle http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/8972/0

    Thank you for your consideration and efforts!

    Mindy Baha El Din
    Nature Conservation Egypt (NCE)
    Cairo, Egypt

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. Alexandra Cameron-Smith
    Member

    Dear Mindy,

    It is possible that the Egyptian vulture is already in the EDGE Birds List, but as we have not yet received it from our scientists we could not tell you at present.

    The slender-horned gazelle is not currently an EDGE species, but it is possible that it might be integrated into the tree in the future if the mammals list is revised. However the ZSL are partaking in active conservation actions for this species: working with the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group and the Saharan Conservation Fund, ZSL has recently carried out some surveys for the slender-horned gazelle in Algeria and Tunisia, here is the link to a press article about it: http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/slender-horned-gazelles.html#cr

    All of EDGE's conservation priorities are based around our top 100 lists. You can find our top 100 lists for amphibians here: http://www.edgeofexistence.org/amphibians/top_100.php
    and for mammals: http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/top_100.php

    Regards

    Alex

    Posted 5 years ago #

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