Modern Extinction


Since the last ice age the number of individuals of many species of animals and plants have declined, often to zero. The losses reflect environmental changes caused both naturally and by humans.

Keywords: extinction; Homo sapiens; biodiversity; environment

Further Reading

Bennett KD (1997) Evolution and Ecology: The Pace of Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Boulter MC (2002) Extinction: Evolution and the End of Man. London: Fourth Estate.

Boulter MC and Hewzulla D (1999) Evolutionary modelling from family diversity. Palaeontologia Electronica 2.


Gonzalez S, Kitchener AC and Lister AM (2000) Survival of the Irish elk into the Holocene. Nature 405: 753–754.

Gould SJ (2002) The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Lawton JH and May RM (eds) (1995) Extinction Rates. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Martin PS and Wright HE (eds) (1967) Pleistocene Extinctions. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Nee S and May RM (1997) Extinction and the loss of evolutionary history. Science 278: 692–694.

Sala OE, Chapin III FS, Armesto R et al. (2000) Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287: 1770–1775.

Silva JMC and Tabareill M (2000) Tree species impoverishment and the future flora of the Atlantic forest of north east Brazil. Nature 404: 72–75.

Tattersall I and Matternes JH (2000) Once we were not alone. Scientific American 282: 38–49.

Walther G‐R, Post E, Convey P et al. (2002) Ecological responses to recent climate change. Nature 416: 389–395.

Whittaker RJ (1998) Island Biogeography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Willis KJ and Whittaker RJ (2000) The refugial debate. Science 287: 1406–1407.

Wilson EO (2002) The Future of Life. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Boulter, M(Mar 2003) Modern Extinction. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001658]