Tuesday, October 25, 2005

BAIJI DOLPHINS - Last gasp for Yangtze dolphins doomed by industrial revolution

A rare article on the plight of Yangtze baiji dolphin. The Times Online has the coverage.
The Yangtze River dolphin enjoys a rare and unwanted distinction. The grey-white, long-beaked animal looks likely to become the world’s first cetacean — the family of whales, dolphins and porpoises — to be made extinct by man.

In the 1950s as many as 6,000 baiji, as the dolphins are known in Chinese, still swam in the Yangtze. Today fewer than 50 may survive. None has been seen since July last year when a pair were spotted in Honghu Lake, part of a huge water system that winds out across the Yangtze plain.