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The dynamics underlying avian extinction trajectories forecast a wave of extinctions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology. Univ Oslo, CEES, Dept BioSci, POB 1066, N-0316 Oslo, Norway;Simon Fraser Univ, Dept Biol Sci, 8888 Univ Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada;Simon Fraser Univ, IRMACS Ctr Interdisciplinary Res, 8888 Univ Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada;.
BirdLife Int, David Attenborough Bldg,Pembroke St, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, England;Univ Cambridge, Dept Zool, Downing St, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, England.
Simon Fraser Univ, Dept Biol Sci, 8888 Univ Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada;Simon Fraser Univ, IRMACS Ctr Interdisciplinary Res, 8888 Univ Dr, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada.
Univ Oslo, CEES, Dept BioSci, POB 1066, N-0316 Oslo, Norway;Umea Univ, Dept Ecol & Environm Sci, S-90187 Umea, Sweden;Umea Univ, IceLab, S-90187 Umea, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Biology Letters, ISSN 1744-9561, E-ISSN 1744-957X, Vol. 15, no 12, article id 20190633Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Population decline is a process, yet estimates of current extinction rates often consider just the final step of that process by counting numbers of species lost in historical times. This neglects the increased extinction risk that affects a large proportion of species, and consequently underestimates the effective extinction rate. Here, we model observed trajectories through IUCN Red List extinction risk categories for all bird species globally over 28 years, and estimate an overall effective extinction rate of 2.17 x 10(-4)/species/year. This is six times higher than the rate of outright extinction since 1500, as a consequence of the large number of species whose status is deteriorating. We very conservatively estimate that global conservation efforts have reduced the effective extinction rate by 40%, but mostly through preventing critically endangered species from going extinct rather than by preventing species at low risk from moving into higher-risk categories. Our findings suggest that extinction risk in birds is accumulating much more than previously appreciated, but would be even greater without conservation efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ROYAL SOC , 2019. Vol. 15, no 12, article id 20190633
Keywords [en]
biodiversity, birds, mass extinction, endangered species, conservation, population decline
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401178DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0633ISI: 000503237800003PubMedID: 31847745OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401178DiVA, id: diva2:1383096
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 637-2013-274Available from: 2020-01-07 Created: 2020-01-07 Last updated: 2020-01-07Bibliographically approved

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Monroe, Melanie J.

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