If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Extinction Rates in North American Freshwater Fishes, 1900–2010

Noel M. Burkhead
BioScience
Vol. 62, No. 9 (September 2012), pp. 798-808
DOI: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.9.5
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/bio.2012.62.9.5
Page Count: 11
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Extinction Rates in North American Freshwater Fishes, 1900–2010
Preview not available

Abstract

Widespread evidence shows that the modern rates of extinction in many plants and animals exceed background rates in the fossil record. In the present article, I investigate this issue with regard to North American freshwater fishes. From 1898 to 2006, 57 taxa became extinct, and three distinct populations were extirpated from the continent. Since 1989, the numbers of extinct North American fishes have increased by 25%. From the end of the nineteenth century to the present, modern extinctions varied by decade but significantly increased after 1950 (post-1950s mean = 7.5 extinct taxa per decade). In the twentieth century, freshwater fishes had the highest extinction rate worldwide among vertebrates. The modern extinction rate for North American freshwater fishes is conservatively estimated to be 877 times greater than the background extinction rate for freshwater fishes (one extinction every 3 million years). Reasonable estimates project that future increases in extinctions will range from 53 to 86 species by 2050.

Page Thumbnails