The future of biodiversity

Stuart L. Pimm, Gareth J. Russell, John L. Gittleman, Thomas M. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1449 Scopus citations

Abstract

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. Although new technology provides details of habitat losses, estimates of future extinctions are hampered by our limited knowledge of which areas are rich in endemics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume269
Issue number5222
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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