Freshwater Ecosystem - Extinction of Freshwater Fauna

Extinction of Freshwater Fauna

Over 123 freshwater fauna species have gone extinct in North America since 1900. Of North American freshwater species, an estimated 48.5% of mussels, 22.8% of gastropods, 32.7% of crayfishes, 25.9% of amphibians, and 21.3% of fishes are either endangered or threatened. Extinction rates of many species may increase severely into the next century because of invasive species, loss of keystone species and species which are already functionally extinct. Projected extinction rates for freshwater animals are around five times greater than for land animals, and are comparable to the rates for rainforest communities. Recent extinction trends can be attributed largely to sedimentation, stream fragmentation, chemical and organic pollutants, dams, and invasive species.

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