Estimating the normal background rate of species extinction

  title={Estimating the normal background rate of species extinction},
  author={Jurriaan M. de Vos and Lucas N Joppa and John L. Gittleman and Patrick R. Stephens and Stuart L Pimm},
  journal={Conservation Biology},
A key measure of humanity's global impact is by how much it has increased species extinction rates. Familiar statements are that these are 100–1000 times pre‐human or background extinction levels. Estimating recent rates is straightforward, but establishing a background rate for comparison is not. Previous researchers chose an approximate benchmark of 1 extinction per million species per year (E/MSY). We explored disparate lines of evidence that suggest a substantially lower estimate. Fossil… 

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