Turtles Top List of Most Endangered Vertebrates

Feb 28, 2011
Outside Magazine

  Endangered turtles_opt
Courtesy of IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

A new study from the Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group of the IUCN reports that more than half of the world's 328 turtle and tortoise species are threatened with extinction, which makes them the most endangered group of vertebrate animals. The world's seven sea turtle species are not included in this statistic.

Turtles are often hunted for food, pets or medicinal use, according to TreeHugger.com. Pollution and habitat loss are also contributing to their demise. The highest percentage of threatened turtles are found in Asia, where rare turtles are commonly sold on the black market for tens of thousands of dollars.

Click here for the top-25 list of endangered turtles and the Turtles in Trouble report.

--Whitney Dreier

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