From 1900 to 2010, freshwater fish species in North America went extinct at a rate 877 times faster than the rate found in the fossil record, and estimates indicate the rate may double by 2050. This new information comes from a U.S. Geological Survey study to be published in the September issue of the journal BioScience.
In the fossil record, one freshwater fish species goes extinct every three million years, but North America lost 39 species and 18 subspecies between 1898 and 2006. Based on current trends in threatened and endangered fish species, researchers estimate that an additional 53 to 86 species of freshwater fish may be extinct by 2050. Since the first assessment of extinct North American freshwater fishes in 1989, the number of extinct fishes increased by 25 percent.
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