The Future of Biodiversity

  title={The Future of Biodiversity},
  author={Stuart L. Pimm and Gareth J. Russell and John L. Gittleman and Thomas M. Brooks},
  pages={347 - 350}
Recent extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times their pre-human levels in well-known, but taxonomically diverse groups from widely different environments. If all species currently deemed "threatened" become extinct in the next century, then future extinction rates will be 10 times recent rates. Some threatened species will survive the century, but many species not now threatened will succumb. Regions rich in species found only within them (endemics) dominate the global patterns of extinction… 

Mammal Population Losses and the Extinction Crisis

Historic and present distributions of 173 declining mammal species from six continents are compared, finding that these species have collectively lost over 50% of their historic range area, mostly where human activities are intensive.

Extinction Rates of North American Freshwater Fauna

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

Extinction‐Rate Estimates for a Modern Neotropical Flora

Abstract: Concerns about elevated extinction rates in the tropics are a common feature of the conservation literature, but direct measurements are rare. We present the first quantitative estimates of

Biodiversity and extinction

Introduction extract: Species-level conservation activities tend to be focused on those species that are highly threatened with global or regional extinction in the near future. This is broadly

Extinctions of Threatened Frogs may Impact Ecosystems in a Global Hotspot of Anuran Diversity

Abstract Human activity is accelerating rates of extinction around the world, and there is therefore an urgent need to understand the potential consequences of species loss on functional diversity

Threatened and endangered species geography: characteristics of hot spots in the conterminous United States

An estimated global extinction rate that appears to be unprecedented in geological time has heightened concern for the increasing number of rare species and rarity has been used as an important criterion for identifying which species should be the focus of conservation efforts.

Global Biodiversity Conservation: The Critical Role of Hotspots

Global changes, from habitat loss and invasive species to anthropogenic climate change, have initiated the sixth great mass extinction event in Earth’s history. As species become threatened and

Future threats to biodiversity and pathways to their prevention

Proactive international efforts to increase crop yields, minimize land clearing and habitat fragmentation, and protect natural lands could increase food security in developing nations and preserve much of Earth's remaining biodiversity.

Habitat Loss and Extinction in the Hotspots of Biodiversity

The results suggest that the Eastern Arc and Coastal Forests of Tanzania-Kenya, Philippines, and Polynesia-Micronesia can least afford to lose more habitat and that, if current deforestation rates continue, the Caribbean, Tropical Andes, Philippines and Me- soamerica, Sundaland, Indo-Burma, Madagascar, and Choco-Darien-Western Ecuador will lose the most habitat in the near future.



Prehistoric Extinctions of Pacific Island Birds: Biodiversity Meets Zooarchaeology

On tropical Pacific islands, a human-caused "biodiversity crisis" began thousands of years ago and has nearly run its course and the current global extinction crisis therefore has historic precedent.

Threatened biotas: "Hot spots" in tropical forests

  • N. Myers
  • Environmental Science
    The Environmentalist
  • 1988
10 areas that, a) are characterised by exceptional concentrations of species with high levels of endemism and b) are experiencing unusually rapid rates of depletion are identified, so conservationists can engage in a more systematised response to the challenge of largescale extinctions impending in tropical forests.

Geographical Trends in Numbers of Species

A quantitative analysis of geographic trends in species density for the terrestrial vertebrate faunas of the United States and Australia reveals general patterns as well as intriguing and profound differences in vertebrate distributions.

Keeping Options Alive: The Scientific Basis for Conserving Biodiversity

This book offers an overview of where the worlds species and genetic resources are located why they are valuable and a new analysis of species extinctions in tropical forests; presents a survey of

Discussion of Pimm et al., 1994 (Bird Extinctions in the Central Pacific [and Discussion])

Cautions are suggested against the conclusion that all human colonists or islands necessarily cause substantial extinctions of vertebrates, rather than the general idea that humans necessarily are destructive of biodiversity.

Biological diversity: where is it?

Two recent papers on mammals by Mares and Pagel et al. illustrate the complex biological issues involved in predicting what diversity might remain after future planners have taken a cookie cutter to their wilderness.

Times to extinction for small populations of large birds.

Observations suggest that lifetimes of the 'Alala (now reduced to about three pairs in the wild), and of populations of Northern Spotted Owl in the smallest forest fragments, will be short unless active management is implemented.

The biodiversity challenge: Expanded hot-spots analysis

  • N. Myers
  • Environmental Science
    The Environmentalist
  • 1990
By concentrating on these hot-spot areas where needs are greatest and where the pay-off from safeguard measures would be greatest, conservationists can engage in a more systematised response to the challenge of large scale impending extinctions.

How many species

  • R. May
  • Environmental Science
  • 1990
Various approaches to estimating what the total number of species on Earth might be are outlined: these approaches include extrapolation of past trends; direct assessments based on the overall fraction previously recorded among newly studied groups of tropical insects; indirect assessment derived from recent studies of arthropods in the canopies of tropical trees.

Extinction rates can be estimated from molecular phylogenies.

It is illustrated how molecular phylogenies provide information about the extent to which particular clades are likely to be under threat from extinction and how different evolutionary processes leave distinctive marks on the structure of reconstructed phylogenies.