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Forecasting Extinctions: Uncertainties and Limitations
School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, UK
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil
Received: 13 October 2009; Accepted: 14 November 2009 / Published: 26 November 2009
Abstract: Extinction forecasting is one of the most important and challenging areas of conservation biology. Overestimates of extinction rates or the extinction risk of a particular species instigate accusations of hype and overblown conservation rhetoric. Conversely, underestimates may result in limited resources being allocated to other species/habitats perceived as being at greater risk. In this paper I review extinction models and identify the key sources of uncertainty for each. All reviewed methods which claim to estimate extinction probabilities have severe limitations, independent of if they are based on ecological theory or on rather subjective expert judgments.
Keywords: extinction; uncertainty; forecasting; local extinction; viability
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Ladle, R.J. Forecasting Extinctions: Uncertainties and Limitations. Diversity 2009, 1, 133-150.
Ladle RJ. Forecasting Extinctions: Uncertainties and Limitations. Diversity. 2009; 1(2):133-150.
Ladle, Richard J. 2009. "Forecasting Extinctions: Uncertainties and Limitations." Diversity 1, no. 2: 133-150.