Thursday, December 21, 2006

Baiji Dolphins: Chinese to continue the search for the White Flag dolphin

China's People's Daily Online reports that some Chinese scientists remain noncommittal over the findings (read: lack of) of the recent Baiji expedition.
Wang Ding, vice director of the hydrobiology institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and head of the research team, insisted it was still too early to say whether or not the dolphin, also known as baiji, is extinct, even though none were found along the 3,400-km expedition route.

"A species are only said to be extinct after human beings fail to find any in the wild for 50 years according to the standards of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature," Wang said.
So it's going to be many years before the scientific community can officially declare the Baiji extinct, and thus the search WILL continue.
Chinese scientists said they will continue to search for the rare white-flag (baiji) dolphin although it is possibly extinct after a 38-day search failed to find any in the Yangtze River.
[...]
"We will try every effort to save them as long as they are not announced to be extinct," said Wang, who is vice-director of the hydrobiology institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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