Psychedelic Rock Gecko, Other Reptiles Native To Vietnam Need Protections, Study SaysEndangered psychedelic rock gecko (Cnemaspis psychedelica). Photo by Thomas Ziegler

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Psychedelic Rock Gecko, Other Reptiles Native To Vietnam Need Protections, Study Says

Of the 159 reptile species known to occur in Vietnam, 85 have missing or outdated data on the IUCN Red List.

The study, which draws largely on the bachelor thesis of Lilli Steiger of the University of Cologne in Germany, has recommended that Vietnam adopt the IUCN CPSG’s One Plan Approach to Conservation.

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A study published in the journal Nature Conservation has compiled a list of the 50 most threatened reptile species in the Southeast Asian nation, including the psychedelic rock gecko (Cnemaspis psychedelica) which suffers from over harvesting and habitat loss.

The study, which draws largely on the bachelor thesis of Lilli Steiger of the University of Cologne in Germany, has recommended that Vietnam adopt the IUCN CPSG’s One Plan Approach to Conservation. This plan involves improving the habitat of these species and employing captive breeding efforts and assurance colonies at zoos to enable the reintroducing of captive bred species into their native habitats.

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Trimeresurus truongsonensis

Endangered Truong Son pit viper or Quang Binh pit viper (Trimeresurus truongsonensis). Photo by Thomas Ziegler

“Modern zoos, as well as local facilities, can play a crucial role in not only conducting or financially supporting in situ conservation projects, that is to say in nature, but also by protecting species from extinction through maintaining ex situ assurance colonies to reinforce in situ conservation programs,” Prof. Thomas Ziegler, Vietnam conservation team member and coordinator from Cologne Zoo in Germany said in a statement released to the media.

Cnemaspis psychedelica

Endangered psychedelic rock gecko (Cnemaspis psychedelica). Photo by Thomas Ziegler

The researchers identified 484 reptile species that are native to Vietnam in an effort to provide a baseline for government officials, conservationists, rescue centers, and zoos to help these entities form competent conservation measures for endangered species. The researchers also say that the number of reptiles will grow as new species are discovered in the country, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot.


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The researchers note that Vietnam has a very high level of reptile biodiversity and of the 74 species that are considered threatened with extinction, 34 are endemic to the country. Of the 159 reptile species known to occur in Vietnam, 85 have missing or outdated data on the IUCN Red List. Further research is needed for these species, the researchers say.

The complete paper, “Assessment of the threat status of reptile species from Vietnam – Implementation of the One Plan Approach to Conservation” can be read on the Nature Conservation Journal.

Threat status of reptile species extant in Vietnam, including sea turtles, listed in CITES.

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Species Endemic IUCN Red List status Vietnam Red Data Book Decree 64/2019 Decree 84/2021 CITES
Crocodylia
Crocodylus siamensis CR CR IB I
Sauria
Cnemaspispsychedelica * EN Yes IB I
Gekko gecko LC VU IIB II
Goniurosaurus araneus EN IIB II
Goniurosauruscatbaensis * EN IIB II
Goniurosaurushuuliensis * CR IIB II
Goniurosauruslichtenfelderi VU IIB II
Goniurosaurus luii VU IIB II
Leiolepis reevesii LC VU
Physignathuscocincinus VU VU
Shinisauruscrocodilurusvietnamensis * EN Yes IB I
Varanus bengalensisnebulosus NT EN IB I
Varanus salvator LC EN IIB II
Serpentes
Azemiops feae LC VU
Bungarus fasciatus LC EN
Coelognathus radiatus LC VU
Elaphe moellendorffi VU VU
Euprepiophismandarinus LC VU
Gonyosoma prasinum LC VU
Malayopythonreticulatus LC CR IIB II
Naja atra VU EN IIB II
Naja kaouthia LC EN IIB II
Naja siamensis VU EN IIB II
Ophiophagus hannah VU CR Yes IB II
Oreocryptophisporphyraceus LC VU
Ptyas korros NT EN
Ptyas mucosa LC EN IIB II
Python bivittatus VU IIB II
Python brongersmai LC IIB II
Python curtus LC IIB II
Subsessor bocourti LC VU
Testudines
Amyda ornata NE IIB
Caretta caretta VU CR Yes I
Chelonia mydas EN EN Yes I
Cuora amboinensis EN VU IIB II
Cuora bourreti ** CR EN Yes IB I
Cuora cyclornata NE CR Yes IB II
Cuora galbinifrons CR EN Yes IB II
Cuora mouhotii EN IIB II
Cuora picturata CR EN Yes IB I
Cyclemys oldhami EN IIB II
Cyclemys pulchristriata ** EN IIB II
Dermochelys coriacea VU CR Yes I
Eretmochelys imbricata CR EN Yes I
Geoemyda spengleri EN IIB II
Heosemys annandalii CR EN IIB II
Heosemys grandis CR VU IIB II
Indotestudo elongata CR EN II
Lepidochelys olivacea VU EN Yes I
Malayemys subtrijuga ** NT VU IIB II
Manouria impressa EN VU IIB II
Mauremys annamensis * CR CR Yes IB I
Mauremys mutica CR IIB II
Mauremys sinensis CR III
Palea steindachneri CR VU IIB II
Pelochelys cantorii CR EN Yes IB II
Platysternonmegacephalum CR EN IB I
Rafetus swinhoei * CR CR Yes IB II
Sacalia quadriocellata CR IIB II
Siebenrockiella crassicollis EN IIB II