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Mass extinction—profound problem, splendid opportunity

  • Norman Myers (a1)

A major extinction spasm is under way, threatening to eliminate millions of species. Fortunately we still have time—although only just—to slow and stem the tide of extinctions that is washing over earth's biotas. We cannot stop the mass extinction altogether; the processes of broad-scale habitat depletion have generated too much momentum to be halted overnight. But there is still much we can do to contain the scale of extinctions. In short, the prospect of a broad-scope depletion of earth's biodiversity is all too real: a profound problem. All too real also is the scope for an expansive effort to limit the phenomenon, and to save species in their millions: a splendid opportunity.

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D. Jablonski and D. Raup (eds) 1986. PatternsandProcesses in the History of Life. Springer-Verlag, Berlin and New York.

N. Myers 1983. Priority Ranking Strategy for Threatened Species? The Environmentalist, 3, 97120.

N. Myers 1988. Threatened Biotas: ‘Hot-Spots’ in Tropical Forests. The Environmentalist, in press.

R.L. Peters and J.D.S. Darling 1985. The greenhouse effect and nature reserves. BioScience, 35, 707717.

M.E. Soule (ed.) 1986. Conservation Biology: The Science of Scarcity and Diversity. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.

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  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
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