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China’s freshwater dolphin driven to extinction

After surviving 20 million years, China’s goddess of the river is driven to extinction

By Clifford Coonan in Beijing

Published: 18 December 2006

For 20 million years, the white-fin dolphin, or baiji, swam China’s longest river, the Yangtze. But a few years of breakneck development, overfishing and a massive increase in shipping have reduced sightings of this shy, graceful creature to zero. A recent expedition failed to spot a single Lipotes vexillifer, and now conservationists fear the almost-blind, long-beaked animal is gone for good, the first big aquatic mammal to become extinct due to human activity… link above for the rest of the story.


  1. MCBI on December 19, 2006 at 6:50 am

    Great photos of a unique animal that will truly be missed (see also my Dec 11 MC Blog). A herald of things to come? Next to go: the Yangtze Finless Porpoise, Vaquita, Maui’s Dolphin, or Hawaiian Monk Seal?