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Too bad, it’s the age of Darwin

August 9th, 2007 · No Comments

Yangtze river dolphin is almost certainly extinct
Too bad, it’s the age of Darwin

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.

Tags: Evolution

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