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InvisibleDiploidM
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Dolphin Species Now Extinct
    #7275373 - 08/08/07 08:22 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

The Yangtze River dolphin is no more – the first cetacean to disappear as a result of human activity.

After a fruitless search lasting six weeks, scientists failed to find a single Yangtze river dolphin, also known as the Baiji, in its natural habitat in China. They will now propose that the dolphin be formally reclassified this autumn as "possibly extinct" and say there is no longer any hope of resurrecting the species using a captive breeding programme.

During the expedition in November and December 2006, researchers in two boats scoured the river for the dolphin, using hydrophones to detect its underwater whistles. Listen to the dolphin’s whistle here.

They had planned to move any dolphins they found to a nearby lake to establish a breeding programme – a conservation strategy advocated since 1986.

Edge of existence

Yangtze River dolphins (Lipotes vexillifer) have long been recognised as one of the world's rarest and most endangered mammals. The Zoological Society of London, UK, has made it the top priority of its new EDGE of existence programme (see Conservation bid targets world's 100 weirdest creatures).

However, last year's expedition "became crushingly depressing as it proceeded", says Samuel Turvey of the ZSL. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is now considering a proposal to change the Baiji's status on its Red List of threatened species from simply “critically endangered” to “critically endangered (possibly extinct)”.

Randall Reeves of the IUCN told New Scientist he was in no doubt that the proposal would be accepted and the change would be made when the Red List was next updated on 12 September.

Originally only found in eastern China in the middle and lower Yangtze river and the neighbouring Qiantang river, the Baiji disappeared from the Qiantang in the 1950s. In the late 1970s, Chinese scientists estimated there were 400 individuals left in the Yangtze and its side channels. Two decades later they estimated that there could be as few as 13.

The dolphin's decline was probably largely driven by fishing boats accidentally trapping Baiji in their gear. At least half of all known Baiji deaths in the 1970s and 1980s were the result of such by-catch.
Last sighting

The last confirmed sighting of a Baiji was in 2002, the same year that the sole surviving captive animal – a male called Qi Qi – died. Since then, fishermen have reported seeing Yangtze river dolphins on three occasions, but Turvey says it is impossible to confirm the sightings.

He adds that he and his colleagues cannot rule out the possibility that a few remaining dolphins could have been in the side channels of the Yangtze while they were patrolling the river. But he says all the side channels are too small to accommodate sustainable populations.

The researchers warn that a similar fate could await a subspecies of the finless porpoise Neophocaena phocaenoides, which only lives in the Yangtze and is already extremely rare.

They say the extinction of the Baiji "merely reflects the latest stage in the progressive ecological deterioration of the Yangtze region, home to approximately 10% of the world’s human population". During their expedition they noted more than one large fishing boat for every 100 metres of river.

The world's most endangered cetacean is now the Gulf of California porpoise Phocoena sinus, or "vaquita", of which a few hundred remain. It is also threatened by accidental by-catch.

Journal reference: Biology Letters (DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0292)

newscientist.com (by subscription)


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Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Offlinerobbyberto
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: Diploid]
    #7275387 - 08/08/07 08:26 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Thats awful. There has to be some Yangtze River dolphin DNA that we can find and use to keep the species from being completely extinct.


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“People say having kids is life changing, well that doesn’t necessarily mean a good thing, does it? I could take one of my legs off. That would change my life.” -Karl Pilkington



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Offlinekotik
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: robbyberto]
    #7275410 - 08/08/07 08:32 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

take that nature, we'll lick you yet...


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No statements made in any post or message by myself should be construed to mean that I am now, or have ever been, participating in or considering participation in any activities in violation of any local, state, or federal laws. All posts are works of fiction.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: Diploid]
    #7275765 - 08/08/07 10:12 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

So long and thanks for the fish. :sad:


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Invisibletak
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: Silversoul]
    #7278344 - 08/09/07 05:55 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

lol


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The DJ's took pills to stay awake and play for seven days.


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Offlinedelta9
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: robbyberto]
    #7278897 - 08/09/07 08:30 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

robbyberto said:
Thats awful. There has to be some Yangtze River dolphin DNA that we can find and use to keep the species from being completely extinct.



There was, but you had it in your tuna salad!


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delta9


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Offlinerobbyberto
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: delta9]
    #7279363 - 08/09/07 11:02 PM (13 years, 6 months ago)

:rimshot:


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“People say having kids is life changing, well that doesn’t necessarily mean a good thing, does it? I could take one of my legs off. That would change my life.” -Karl Pilkington



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OfflineSyle
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: delta9]
    #7283490 - 08/11/07 02:47 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

delta9 said:
Quote:

robbyberto said:
Thats awful. There has to be some Yangtze River dolphin DNA that we can find and use to keep the species from being completely extinct.



There was, but you had it in your tuna salad!




/points at robby

you bastard!!!


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Invisibleivi
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: Diploid]
    #7286430 - 08/12/07 04:58 AM (13 years, 6 months ago)

May or may not be extinct.


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Edited by ivi (08/12/07 05:10 AM)


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: Diploid]
    #7352350 - 08/30/07 04:40 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

It may not be extinct. Though it's a moot point without an adequate breeding population.

http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSPEK27670720070830?feedType=RSS&feedName=scienceNews&rpc=22&sp=true

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese man has videotaped a large white animal swimming in the Yangtze river, which experts say is a dolphin species unique to China and feared extinct, the official Xinhua agency reported on Wednesday.

The last confirmed sighting of the long-beaked, nearly blind baiji was in 2004. After an international team failed to find a single dolphin on a six-week expedition last year the species was classified as critically endangered and possibly extinct.

But the video from central Anhui province may renew slender hopes for the survival of the creatures also known as white-flag dolphins and traditionally considered a deity by local people.

"I never saw such a big thing in the water before, so I filmed it," dolphin-spotter Zeng Yujiang told Xinhua. "It was about 1,000 meters (yards) away and jumped out of water several times."

Wang Kexiong, of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said experts at the institute had confirmed the footage was of a baiji.

The report did not say if there were any plans to try and locate the dolphin again, or try and protect it from the river hazards -- ranging from pollution and aggressive fishing to heavy shipping traffic -- that originally decimated the species.

In the late 1970s, scientists believed several hundred baiji were still alive, but by 1997 a survey listed just 13 sightings. Found only in the Yangtze river, it is related to freshwater species found in the Mekong, Indus, Ganges and Amazon rivers.

The government has set up a reserve in a lake in central Hubei province but failed to find any baiji to put in it. The last captive dolphin, Qi Qi, died in 2002.


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I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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OfflineIrishTemper
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Re: Dolphin Species Now Extinct [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #7354731 - 08/31/07 04:51 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

wow


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Unfolding Nature Shop: Unfolding Nature: Being in the Implicate Order

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