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.The main reason for the white dolphin's decline are overfishing and shipping traffic. More details at CNN.
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."
White dolphin now extinct
Posted on Sunday, Dec 17 2006 @ 10:15 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Scientists report a rare Yangtze River dolphin is now extinct after 20 million years: