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Tuatara: Sphenodontidae

Conservation Status

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) considers the Brother Islands tuatara to be Vulnerable, which means that it faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists both species as Endangered or in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range. One of the greatest threats to the tuataras comes from introduced species, especially rats, which attack and kill the reptiles. Several programs are under way to remove the rats and to prevent any other predators from reaching the islands; these efforts are helping the tuataras to make a comeback. In addition, other programs are helping to return tuataras to those places where they once lived but had disappeared.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesTuatara: Sphenodontidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Northern Tuatara (sphenodon Punctatus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, TUATARAS AND PEOPLE