Friday, September 12, 2008

Freshwater fish population heading for extinction in North America

According to one recent study four out of 10 freshwater fish species in North America are in danger of heading for extinction. The main cause for this problem are of course people that are polluting and damming freshwater habitats which has negative effect on many ecosystems in lakes, rivers and streams. International scientists have come to very alarming results that 457 entire species are on the verge of the extinction or already extinct, while 700 smaller but individual fish populations are vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. There were very few positive results as only 86 species are not under threat, but even these species have some subspecies heading for extinction.

Many fish habitats in North America are lacking both quality as well as the quantity of the water, and there is also the problem of many invasive species that are beginning to settle more and more in these sensitive ecosystems. If this condition continues we can expect serious changes in food chain that will not only affect fish population but all of us. Freshwater extinction are happening very fast but people do not notice these severe changes in freshwater ecosystems since they are happening deep in American lakes, rivers and streams. This is the reason why some scientists call this fish extinction "silent extinction". The question is how much time do we still have before this silent extinction starts to scream? I would say not too much.

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