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Socotra is one of the most distinct and difficult to access archipelagos in the world. Its unique features, especially in what concerns the high number of endemic species, have led it to be distinguished in 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage Natural site.


In an article published by the journal PLOS ONE, which has been highlighted in the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) and in the bulletin of the International Barcode of Life , a team of researchers that includes Raquel Vasconcelos and Xavier Santos reports that up to 54% of reptile species in Socotra may still be undiscovered.


This work, performed using “DNA barcoding”, an inexpensive and rapid technique to identify different species, is the first to analyze in detail the reptiles of these islands. By sequencing a small part of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase (COI) in a large number of samples of all known species from the Socotra Archipelago and comparing it among each other, the team was able to distinguish different species.


According to Raquel, the results of this work could have great implication for species conservation, given the estimates that point towards a third of Socotran reptiles as threatened. The team aims to generate a biodiversity atlas for the Socotra reptiles, which should serve as a tool for their identification and management, hoping that this research will be useful to control reptile biodiversity loss and to establish priorities for the populations protection.



To know more about this topic, please follow the link:


More than 50% of Socotra’s reptiles, still undiscovered” | CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) | Apr 14, 2016


To read the article published by iBOL | June 2016 (pag 6-7), please, click here.


To read the original article published by PLOS ONE, please, click here.


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