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Pollution Leaves Beloved Dolphin Of Yangtze Extinct

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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:16 AM
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Pollution Leaves Beloved Dolphin Of Yangtze Extinct
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 07:17 AM by nickshepDEM
:-(

Washington Post:



SHANGHAI, Dec. 13 -- For millions of years, the Chinese river dolphin basked in the waters of the mighty Yangtze, a gray phantom more than six feet long with a sharp snout and tiny eyes. The endearing creature, which the Chinese call baiji, was the stuff of legend, a goddess to some, and the delight of fishermen who occasionally saw one break the water's surface.

But China's relentless growth closed in on the baiji over the past 25 years, fouling its habitat with sewage and filling the Yangtze with ships whose propellers disrupted the dolphin's sonar-based sensory system. The numbers declined year after year, until scientists estimated recently that only 50 were left along the river's 1,500-mile main course through central China. The baiji, they warned, risked extinction.


News came Wednesday that they were right: Development in China has in all likelihood extinguished the baiji, erasing the species from the planet. An expedition of some of the world's leading experts, equipped with sophisticated viewing equipment and ultra-sensitive microphones, announced it had ended its mission after five weeks on the river without detecting any sign of surviving baijis.

"It's possible that there are two or three left that we missed somehow, but functionally they are extinct," said August Pfluger, a Swiss conservationist whose Baiji.org Foundation was one of the expedition's sponsors. "It's finished. This is very, very sad."

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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:40 AM
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1. The Chinese are hurtling themselves toward extinction as fast
as they can. I believe it's 14 of the main rivers in that country that are polluted beyond any hope of cleaning them up. The air pollution is amazing, pictures of people walking around with masks because of air pollution. Not enough water for their largest city (water for 14 million, 15 million liver in Beijing).

I bet the bush** administration and his corporate buddies are so jealous. That's what they have/had in store for us.
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mtnsnake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:42 AM
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2. This kind of thing is just as sad as the Iraq War or anything else
People are fucking idiots. Animals don't deserve this kind of fate, courtesy of humans.
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:07 AM
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3. Mankind has proven to be the great destroyer with NO END in site........
Now, there has been some talk of of loading water from the Great Lakes onto tanker ships for transport to and for use in Asia. Man's ravaging of Earth's air, water, land and other living creatures will lead to his own decline and demise by the end of this century. Whoever believed 'man' was the MOST INTELLIGENT SPECIES was greatly mistaken.
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ChicagoRonin Donating Member (250 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:21 AM
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4. Last Chance to See
I highly recommend reading the late Douglas Adams' nonfiction book Last Chance to See, an early 90s book dealing with conservation. The Yangtze dolphin figures prominently in one chapter. This news unfortunately fulfills one of the books saddest prophecies.

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Chance-See-Douglas-Adams/dp/...
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