Abstract: Since 1900, 123 freshwater animal species have been recorded as extinct in North America. Hundreds of additional species of fishes, mollusks, crayfishes, and amphibians are considered imperiled. Using an exponential decay model, we derived recent and future extinction rates for North American freshwater fauna that are five times higher than those for terrestrial fauna. Assuming that imperiled freshwater species will not survive throughout the next century, our model projects a future extinction rate of 4% per decade, which suggests that North America's temperate freshwater ecosystems are being depleted of species as rapidly as tropical forests.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Oct 23, 1999
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