VIDEO: Some Reptiles and Amphibians Extinct in Windsor-Essex: Study
A new study has found staggering rates of extinction for reptiles and amphibians in Windsor-Essex.
Conservation Biologist with Wildlife Preservation Canada Jonathan Choquette and co-author Erie Jolin evaluated the status in 2018 and found 62% of reptiles and amphibians species, historically found in Windsor-Essex, are now either 'locally extinct' or are in limited numbers.
13 species have already been lost and another 13 are at risk in this region.
Snakes, lizards and salamanders are the hardest hit.
Choquette says some of these species can be found elsewhere.
"We are talking about a regional status assessment," he says. "So we are looking at the status of these animals in Windsor-Essex County so when we talk about them being extinct locally, we mean no longer being found in our particular region of study."
Choquette says extinction is a process and it does not happen all at once.
Although the study didn't assess the reason behind the extinction, he says there is always a major common denominator.
"Common threats exist, like habitat loss is a common threat to reptiles and amphibians in Canada and it is no different in Essex County. We don't have a lot of natural habitat left."
For some species, like the small-mouth salamander, Choquette says the last Canadian population is here in Windsor-Essex.
There is just over 6% of natural area cover in Windsor-Essex.
The study identified areas of the region where the greatest number of species can still be found, including parts of west Windsor.