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Thread: China River Dolphin Extinct

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    China River Dolphin Extinct

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    From the New York Times/Associated Press:

    China: River Dolphin Declared Extinct

    Published: December 14, 2006

    The baiji, a rare, nearly blind white dolphin that survived for 20 million years, is effectively extinct, an international expedition declared after ending a fruitless six-week search of its Yangtze River habitat. The baiji would be the first large aquatic mammal driven to extinction since hunting and overfishing killed off the Caribbean monk seal in the 1950s. For the baiji, the culprit was a degraded habitat — busy ship traffic, which confounds the sonar the dolphin uses to find food, and overfishing and pollution in the Yangtze waters of eastern China, the expedition said. “The baiji is functionally extinct,” said August Pfluger, who helped put together the expedition. “We might have missed one or two animals, but it won’t survive in the wild.” Around 400 baiji were believed to be living in the Yangtze in the early 1980s. The last full-fledged search, in 1997, yielded 13 confirmed sightings.

    Reports from the expedition are at baiji.org.

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    I never knew there were freshwater dolphins, nonetheless, this is a piece of very saddening news. The entire species driven to extinction, this are the high prices of national development.
    Last edited by andrewtyr; 15th Dec 2006 at 09:44.
    Cheers,
    Andrew

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    Here's a list (http://www.petermaas.nl/extinct/lists.htm) of other recently extinct animals. Don't worry too much, as it's obvious that we don't need clean rivers and oceans, rainforests, wetlands and other horrible places full of these nasty animals.

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    Actually, the Chinese scientists from Wuhan involved in the research, had came to the conclusion of extinction quite a while ago. So far, the best method of protecting animals is to surround the habitat as protected area, but it was difficult to do it in Yangtze river.

    Another endangered animal, Yangtze alligator, also from lower part of Yangtze in Anhui province, now probably only left a couple hundreds only in the wild, but plenty are captively bred, some are even allowed to be sold in the licensed restaurant recently.

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    wa!! sad yangtze river dolphin Extinct thanks to those morons!!!! all those detrimental events it brought to this world.Oceanarium around the world should have capture the remaining and try breeding them in captivity rather than the bottlenose dolphin. i think zoos should do that to the chinese alligator.

    since the chinese govt cant prevent such tragedy from happening so let the world help them.

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    if you realised, water-based creatures like fish, whales, etc are not easy to save. Even if you rehabilitate them elsewhere, it is going to take tremendous efforts and resources and chances are still that it might not work out.

    Environment conservation is one of the least priorities in a developing nation, esp to one that does not even regard human rights. This wipeout has came sooner than later.
    Cheers,
    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by PACKO View Post
    .Oceanarium around the world should have capture the remaining and try breeding them in captivity rather than the bottlenose dolphin.
    They have a protected area since ages ago if you read carefully, the finless porpoise are doing well inside there. The numbers was already low before the program started, capturing these animals in such big rivers are very very very difficult. And handling & transportation makes it more difficult.

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    Follow-up article in the New York Times:

    20 Million Years and a Farewell

    By ANDREW C. REVKIN
    Published: December 17, 2006

    The first species to be erased from this planet’s great and ancient Order of Cetaceans in modern times is not one of the charismatic sea mammals that have long been the focus of conservation campaigns, like the sperm whale or bottlenose dolphin.

    It appears to be the baiji, a white, nearly blind denizen of the Yangtze River in China.

    On Wednesday, an expedition in search of any baiji, run by Chinese biologists and baiji.org, a Swiss foundation, ended empty-handed after six weeks of patrolling its onetime waters in the middle and lower stretches of the river, the baiji’s only known habitat.

    The Yangtze, Asia’s longest waterway and thought to be akin to the Amazon long ago in its biological richness, now has a dominant species: the 400 million (and counting) people busily plying its waters and industrializing its banks.

    For some 20 million years, the baiji, also called the white-flag dolphin, frequented the Yangtze’s sandy shallows, using sonar to catch fish in the silty flow.

    In the last few decades, the dolphin’s numbers plunged as rapidly as the Chinese economy surged. The Yangtze’s sandy shallows, which the baiji frequented, have largely been dredged for shipping.

    The baiji sought fish that have been netted or driven from the river by pollution. And its sonar may have been disrupted by the propeller noise from boats above. A 1997 survey counted 13 baiji in the river. None of the dolphins survive in captivity.

    In a telephone interview from Wuhan, China, August Pfluger, the founder of baiji.org, said it was a shame that more attention had not shifted from the oceans’ more abundant cetaceans to the plight of those that live in rivers and are now essentially trapped, unable to escape human activity.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Pfluger distributed a news release concluding that the baiji was “functionally extinct.” (Decades must pass before international scientific organizations take the formal step of declaring it officially extinct.)

    The name of the document was, simply, “The End.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by budak View Post
    On Wednesday, Mr. Pfluger distributed a news release concluding that the baiji was "functionally extinct."
    So it is not totally "extinct" extinct. Hopefully, they will be "rediscovered".

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    Small chance imo. China's industrialization will own the river, same thing with everywhere.

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    tough fight, but I am crossing my fingers. Dont write off their chances!!!
    Cheers,
    Andrew

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    Next up for Dolphin extinction: The Amazon's dolphins.
    This Chinese one is now gone.
    A friend of mine studied them and tried to get things done, he was viewed as some "radical Environmentalist do gooder".

    Development/logging and the medicinal trade are the biggest threats to such critters.

    Invasive weeds, rats, vermin will be all that's left.
    But in geologic terms, long after we are gone, the world will take over, 20 millions years will pass and another round of evolution will occur and the species will diversity and grow anew.

    Mother Nature always bats last and we only hurt ourselves and our own children by the extremely poor management of the world around us.


    Nature will always win and beat us.
    So working with it is the best method.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

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    I did some research on this and it was the Three Gorges Dam project that largely did them in too. The Three Gorges Dam is really one of the ecological and archeological disasters of China althogh the Chinese are really desperate for electrical power. Just that one dam alone can power 5% of China's need.

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    I'm giving them 20 years before they screw their ecology and economy so badly they go right back to where they were 5 years ago... The Chinese know "prosperity" like the Americans know "Liberty" like the Singaporeans know "progress"

    The entire world needs to learn to LISTEN.

    Man is a stupid creature...

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    Their economy seems to be on steroids right now. I hope the giant pandas don't go next. Bamboos flower and die together....but pandas used to survive because they could migrate to the next bamboo grove...but with deforestation, its' goign to be difficult. Not to mention that pandas don't like sex very much.

    In any case, good bye baiji.

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    Here's where the fishes are: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ish-china.html

    Don't worry... Southeast Asia will match China too: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...orangutan.html

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    I don't see them going extinct anytime soon. They're getting waaay too much attention. Also, China loves them.

    And hey, you know what they say about steroids. It makes your bones brittle... you won't last more than a few years... That and it causes men to grow breasts but i don't see that happening unless they REALLY start screwing up their river systems...

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