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12/20/2006 09:56 AM ID: 59077 Permalink   

Fresh Water Dolphin Declared Functionally Extinct


The Baiji dolphin, which inhabited the Yangtze River in China, has been declared extinct after a fruitless six-week search for the species came to an end. Only three other species of freshwater dolphin now remain in the world.

The Baiji dolphin was the only representative of a whole family of mammals. Their extinction is an indication that the ecosystem of the Yangtze is being grossly mismanaged. The expedition was surprised at how quickly the dolphins disappeared.

China’s Agriculture Ministry had hoped the Baiji would be brought back from extinction like the panda. While conducting their search for the dolphin, the expedition also surveyed the Yangtze Finless Porpoise population, which has fallen below 400.

    WebReporter: ManilaRyce Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  I hope they aren't suprised by this.  
They were warned that this would happen and it did. Congratulations, China.
  by: theironboard     12/20/2006 07:11 PM     
They may be just as dumb as pandas -- get some
dolphin porn and their numbers should bounce right
  by: pixx   12/20/2006 08:23 PM     
  If only they were as cute as pandas....  
Then I'm sure they wouldn’t have died out. Let’s face it, Panda survived so well because they are cute and are marketable. Most people don't give a second thought when something ugly is about to go extinct, but when it looks like a stuffed toy, then everybody goes awwwww.
  by: dimeron   12/20/2006 09:17 PM     
  thats a real shame  
dolphins are such great creatures, its a real shame the chineese eat almost anything. Dolphins need to be put on a world wide protected list with and imprissonable sentace for killing them in my opinion.
  by: jocksteeluk   12/21/2006 12:40 AM     
nowhere does it say the dolphins were a food source.
  by: ManilaRyce     12/21/2006 12:56 AM     
  Is this another animal  
That the China ate to extinction? Or hunted for their livers so they can make sex soup or something.
  by: thedrewman   12/21/2006 04:48 AM     
um, no. reference the source, the summary, or even the comment above yours. they were so rare they were hardly ever seen, let alone used as a food source.
  by: ManilaRyce     12/21/2006 06:54 AM     
Though the article doesn't state it perhaps jocksteeluk did a little research before making his post.

Causes of decline

The World Conservation Union notes that China's Great Leap Forward greatly reduced the number of baijis. The animal was persecuted for its flesh and skin, and it quickly became scarce.

As China developed economically, pressure on the river dolphin grew significantly. Industrial and residential waste flowed into the Yangtze. The riverbed was dredged and reinforced with concrete in many locations. Ship traffic multiplied, the size of the boats grew, and fishermen employed wider and more lethal nets. Noise pollution made the nearly blind animal prone to collisions with propellers. Stocks of the dolphin's prey had declined drastically in recent decades as well, with some fish populations declining to one thousandth of their pre-industrial levels.

In the 1970s and 1980s, an estimated half of baiji deaths were attributed to entanglement in fishing gear. By the early 2000s, electric fishing was considered "the most important and immediate direct threat to the baiji's survival." Though outlawed, the destructive fishing technique is widely practiced throughout China. The building of the Three Gorges Dam further reduced the dolphin's habitat and facilitated an increase in ship traffic.
  by: hellblazer     12/21/2006 07:22 AM     
i haven't found any source that says the dolphins were eaten. if you find one please post it. from what i gather, the dolphins were caught in nets and killed by other fishing techniques. that doesn't mean fishermen were actually trying to catch them. dolphins get caught in nets all the time.
  by: ManilaRyce     12/21/2006 09:45 PM     
Sorry I forgot the link.
But it does state as already posted,The animal was persecuted for its flesh and skin, and it quickly became scarce.

When one hunts for the flesh they eat that and the skin is sold elsewhere.
  by: hellblazer     12/22/2006 08:22 AM     
  Here is another

Quote:and illegal hunting of the baiji for its meat and for its body parts (used in traditional medicines)
  by: hellblazer     12/22/2006 08:32 AM     
  If dolphins are so smart, why do they ...  
Live in igloos?

Dolphins, Eskimos -- it's all just a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap.
  by: l´anglais     12/23/2006 11:39 AM     
  by: DarkAngelJG     08/31/2007 03:01 AM     
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