BEIJING, China (AP) -- An expedition searching for a rare Yangtze River dolphin ended Wednesday without a single sighting and with the team's leader saying one of the world's oldest species was effectively extinct.
The white dolphin known as baiji, shy and nearly blind, dates back some 20 million years. Its disappearance is believed to be the first time in a half-century, since hunting killed off the Caribbean monk seal, that a large aquatic mammal has been driven to extinction.
A few baiji may still exist in their native Yangtze habitat in eastern China but not in sufficient numbers to breed and ward off extinction, said August Pfluger, the Swiss co-leader of the joint Chinese-foreign expedition.
"We have to accept the fact, that the Baiji is functionally extinct. We lost the race," Pfluger said in a statement released by the expedition. "It is a tragedy, a loss not only for China, but for the entire world. We are all incredibly sad."
Thursday, December 14, 2006
China's white dolphin called extinct after 20 million years
Incredibly sad but as I've said before, this is going to get much worse. Climate change, combined with all the toxins we've released, is creating a very different planet earth. I'm convinced we won't be around much longer. Within 15 years, probably 10 we will no longer recognize our planet. Yes, I think it's happening that fast. China's white dolphin called extinct after 20 million years: