14 Aug '12, 6pm

North American freshwater fish going extinct at rate over 800 times the fossil record

North American freshwater fish going extinct at rate over 800 times the fossil record

Jeremy Hance mongabay.com August 14, 2012 Since 1898 North America has lost at least 39 species of freshwater fish, according to a new study in Bioscience , and an additional 18 subspecies. Moreover, the loss of freshwater fish on the continent seems to be increasing, as the rate jumped by 25 percent since 1989, though even this data may be low. "Estimates of freshwater fish extinctions during the twentieth century are conservative, because it can take 20-50 years to confirm extinction," explains lead author, Noel Burkhead, a research fish biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in a press release. Depiction of an Ash Meadows killifish (Empetrichthys merriami) which went extinct in the 1950s. Image by: David Starr Jordan. Burkhead calculated that the rate of freshwater fish extinction on the continent is at least 877 times faster than in the fossil record, where a...

Full article: http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0814-hance-fish-extinctions...

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