Not Quite Gone?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 18th, 2006

As widely reported today, the search for the baiji – the "Chinese river" or "white-flag dolphin" – declared extinct last week is not finished.

UPI notes:

"We will try every effort to save them as long as it is not announced to be extinct," said Wang Ding, head of the search team and vice director of the hydrobiology institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The dolphin is unique to China’s Yangtze River, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported. If determined to be extinct, the white-flag dolphin will be the first cetacean on record to be driven to extinction by human activity like water pollution, as the dolphin has no natural enemy.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “Not Quite Gone?”

  1. sadisticgreen responds:

    Surely a far better response to this situation would be: “We will find what EXACTLY is killing (has killed) these dolphins and put a definite and permanent stop to it and begin prosecutions on all companies/individuals found to be directly responsible for this ecological disaster.” But then of course how would the rich get richer?!

  2. Kelly responds:

    I travel to backwoods China for business and have noticed how incredibly filthy the rivers and estuaries are. They dump EVERYTHING in them and then enter them to swim and bathe. I can see why so many diseases start in China. The people are nice but the waters are deadly.

  3. youcantryreachingme responds:

    Thanks for the insight Kelly.

    Wang Ding is quoted: “We will try every effort to save them as long as it is not announced to be extinct”

    Well – it won’t be announced for at least another 48 years, so s/he better get cracking!

    Mongabay has a second Baiji Dolphin article with photos.


  4. elsanto responds:

    What I find laughable is the attempt that has now begun to “save” the Yangtze finless porpoise, of which the survey conducted to find the Baiji found 400. Were it any country other than China, I’d almost think they’d have a chance to make a comeback…

  5. mystery_man responds:

    It is very noble of them to say that they will make every effort to save the species if they still exist. However, why doesn’t this ever happen before they are nearly wiped out? It was not some big secret that their numbers were reducing and they were in trouble. The habitat destruction was horrendous, and this has been a long time coming. It is unfortunate that it takes their functional extinction to use “every effort” to save them. If every effort had been made before, maybe this fascinating species would not be on the verge of blinking out forever more.

  6. TheHunter responds:

    I see a reminiscence of propaganda in this statement. Too little, too late!!? Let’s hope not. I must stay with Loren’s mindset that “6 weeks is far too shy of counting a species extinct”. This statement mirrors my inner skeptic.

  7. youcantryreachingme responds:

    But the reality is, with an animal that size, in limited, polluted habitat, even were a few discovered it would be a complete struggle to save it.

    Functionally extinct.


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