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Mass extinction in poorly known taxa

Abstract : Since the 1980s, many have suggested we are in the midst of a massive extinction crisis, yet only 799 (0.04%) of the 1.9 million known recent species are recorded as extinct, questioning the reality of the crisis. This low figure is due to the fact that the status of very few invertebrates, which represent the bulk of biodiversity, have been evaluated. Here we show, based on extrapolation from a random sample of land snail species via two independent approaches, that we may already have lost 7% (130,000 extinctions) of the species on Earth. However, this loss is masked by the emphasis on terrestrial vertebrates, the target of most conservation actions. Projections of species extinction rates are controversial because invertebrates are essentially excluded from these scenarios. Invertebrates can and must be assessed if we are to obtain a more realistic picture of the sixth extinction crisis.
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Contributor : Serena Benassù <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 11:01:22 AM
Last modification on : Friday, March 27, 2020 - 3:57:38 AM

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C. Regnier, G. Achaz, A. Lambert, R.H. Cowie, P. Bouchet, et al.. Mass extinction in poorly known taxa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America , National Academy of Sciences, 2015, 112 (25), pp.7761-7766. ⟨10.1073/pnas.1502350112⟩. ⟨hal-01176263⟩



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