The Proximate Causes of Extinction

  • D. Simberloff
Part of the Dahlem Workshop Reports book series (DAHLEM, volume 36)

Abstract

The vast majority of contemporary extinctions can be viewed as anthropogenous in the sense that human activity greatly reduced population sizes and extinction would not likely have occurred now without the human activity. However, one would still wish to know why small populations, even when protected from further human interference, appear to be unusually prone to extinction. Empirical data on the last gasp of such declining species are almost nonexistent but there is evidence that four forces conspire to put small populations at increased risk: demographic stochasticity, genetic deterioration, social dysfunction, and extrinsic forces. There are presently no models that accurately apportion the threat of extinction among these forces and even the available guidelines for indicating which species are especially at risk are very imprecise.

Keywords

Depression Explosive Assure Assimilation Turkey 

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Copyright information

© Dr. S. Bernhard, Dahlem Konferenzen 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Simberloff
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Biological ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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