In light of future climate change, new predictive approaches quantifying true extinction rates (i.e. number of extinctions per unit time) are now critically needed to start organizing sound, science-based conservation actions, as the potential delays between being "committed to extinction" and becoming extinct (i.e. the so called "relaxation time") constitute a window of opportunity to prevent these potential extinctions.
Results of this paper focusing on freshwater fishes extinction rates in rivers strongly contrasts with previous alarming predictions of huge future extinctions due to on-going climate change. More importantly the study shows that current anthropogenic threats generate extinction rates in rivers far greater than natural and climate change expected extinction rates, highlighting the need for urgent and effective conservation measures to reduce the impacts of present-day anthropogenic drivers of riverine fish extinctions.