Change in climate, destruction of habitats, and the increase of invasive species are the chief drivers in the current biodiversity crisis. Brought on by insatiable consumption of resources by humans, the extinction rate of species annually has risen from 100 to 1000 times.

Currently conservation biologists are trying to estimate the time period during which a species begins to undergo perturbation and eventually extinction. They then take this estimation and apply it to the Brazilian rainforest.

An obstacle that Amazonian species are struggling with is human deforestation. Deforestation is characterized as the cutting down of forest for agricultural or settlement use. By destroying forests we are reducing habitat space and it some cases endangering native species. Fortunately deforestation has decline in recent years due to the newly protected standing of the rainforest.

Previously, it was thought that deforestation negatively affected biodiversity right away; however, recent studies show that deforestation is only the beginning. Once deforestation occurs, animals are forced to gather together in the remaining habitat and the extinction debt begin to rise.

While deforestation has decreased, scientists are now focusing on predicting when future species extinctions will occur, but this has been proven to be difficult. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a new method for predicting extinctions includes accounting for the time and magnitude of habitats loss, then applying this calculation to the Brazilian Amazon. Their findings revealed that by 2050 local regions would lose an average of nine vertebrate species and commit 16 to extinction. Thankfully there is still a window of opportunity to save what remains of the rainforest by concentrating efforts of conservation in areas of the greatest debt.