Journal article

The currency and tempo of extinction

HM Regan, R Lupia, AN Drinnan, MA Burgman

AMERICAN NATURALIST | UNIV CHICAGO PRESS | Published : 2001

Abstract

This study examines estimates of extinction rates for the current purported biotic crisis and from the fossil record. Studies that compare current and geological extinctions sometimes use metrics that confound different sources of error and reflect different features of extinction processes. The per taxon extinction rate is a standard measure in paleontology that avoids some of the pitfalls of alternative approaches. Extinction rates reported in the conservation literature are rarely accompanied by measures of uncertainty, despite many elements of the calculations being subject to considerable error. We quantify some of the most important sources of uncertainty and carry them through the ari..

View full abstract