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.