Extinct Reptiles

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (version 2021-3) shows that at least 1841 of the 10148 reptile species on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction. That is roughly one in six of the total. According tot the IUCN, many species are very highly specialised in terms of habitat use and the climatic conditions they require for day to day functioning. This makes them particularly sensitive to environmental changes.

According to the IUCN at least 32 reptile species have become extinct since the year 1500. Besides that, 2 reptile species are considered extinct in the wild and survive only in captivity.

However, the real situation could be much worse, as 49 reptile species are listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) and 1489 reptile species as Data Deficient. As information improves, more reptiles may well prove to be in danger of extinction or already extinct.

Do you know any species or subspecies that should be added to this list or has been rediscovered? If so, please contact this website.

Pinta Island Tortoise (Lonesome George)

This Pinta Island Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii), an individual called Lonesome George, died in 2012. Photographed in 2008 by Arturo de Frias Marques (CC BY-SA 3.0).


The subjoined table shows the reptile species that recently became ‘globally extinct’ (EX).

Scientific NameCommon NameLast sighting / EED [1]IUCN status
Alinea luciaeSaint Lucia Skink1889 (pre-1937)EX
Bolyeria multocarinataRound Island Burrowing Boa1975EX
Borikenophis sanctaecrucisSaint Croix Racer1859CR (PE)
Celestus occiduusJamaican Giant Galliwasp1840EX
Chelonoidis abingdoniAbingdon Island Giant Tortoise24 June 2012EX
Chelonoidis phantasticaNarborough Island Giant Tortoise1906 (1964?)NE
Chioninia cocteiCape Verde Giant Skink1912EX
Clelia errabundaUnderwood’s Mussurana1800sEX
Contomastix charruaCharrúa Whiptail1977EX
Copeoglossum redondaeRedonda Skink1863-1873EX
Cyclura onchiopsisNavassa Island Iguana1878EX
Cylindraspis indicaRéunion Giant Tortoise1840sEX
Cylindraspis ineptaMauritius Giant Domed Tortoise1735EX
Cylindraspis peltastesRodrigues Domed Tortoise1795-1800EX
Cylindraspis triserrataMauritius Giant Flat-shelled Tortoise1735EX
Cylindraspis vosmaeriRodrigues Giant Saddleback Tortoise1795-1800EX
Erythrolamprus perfuscusBarbados Racer1963EX
Hoplodactylus delcourtiDelcourt’s Giant Gecko (Kawekaweau)1870EX
Leiocephalus cuneusAntiguan Curlytail LizardAfter 1500EX
Leiocephalus eremitusNavassa Curlytail LizardPre-1868EX
Leiocephalus herminieriMartinique Curlytail Lizard1837EX
Leiolopisma ceciliaeRéunion Giant SkinkAfter 1500?NE
Leiolopisma mauritianaMauritian Giant SkinkPre 1598EX
Madatyphlops carieiHoffstetter’s Worm Snake1600sEX
Nactus soniaeRéunion Night-geckoAfter 1500?NE
Phelsuma edwardnewtoniNewton’s Day-gecko1917NE
Phelsuma gigasRodrigues Giant Day-gecko1841-1842EX
Pholidoscelis cineraceaGuadeloupe Ameive1914-1928EX
Pholidoscelis majorMartinique Giant Ameive1960?EX
Tachygia microlepisTonga Ground Skink1827EX
Tetradactylus eastwoodaeEastwood’s Whip Lizard1912 or 1913EX


The subjoined table shows the reptile subspecies that recently became ‘globally extinct’ (EX).

Scientific NameCommon NameLast sighting / EED [1]TSEW statusIUCN status
Aldabrachelys gigantea daudiniiDaudin’s Giant Tortoise1840sEXNE
Gallotia simonyi simonyiRoque Chico de Salmor Giant Lizard1940EXNE
Gongylomorphus bojerii bornonicaRéunion Slit-eared Skink1839EXNE
Kinosternon hirtipes megacephalumViesca Mud Turtle1970EXNE
Podarcis lilfordi rodriqueziRatas Island lizard1934-1936EXNE
Podarcis sicula sanctistephaniSanto Stefano lizard1965EXNE