The baiji (Chinese: 白鱀豚; pinyin:
báijìtún (help·info), Lipotes vexillifer, Lipotes
meaning "left behind", vexillifer "flag bearer") is a functionally
extinct species of freshwater dolphin formerly found only in the
Yangtze River in China. Nicknamed "Goddess of the Yangtze" (simplified
Chinese: 长江女神; traditional Chinese: 長江女神; pinyin:
Cháng Jiāng nǚshén) in China, the dolphin is also called Chinese
Yangtze River dolphin, whitefin dolphin and Yangtze
dolphin. It was regarded as the goddess of protection by local
fishermen and boatmen in
China (Zhou, 1991). It is not to be
confused with the
Chinese white dolphin
Chinese white dolphin or the finless porpoise.
The baiji population declined drastically in decades as China
industrialized and made heavy use of the river for fishing,
transportation, and hydroelectricity. It has been credibly claimed,
after surveys in the
Yangtze River during the 1980s, that baiji could
be the first dolphin species in history that humans have driven to
extinction. A Conservation Action Plan for Cetaceans of the Yangtze
River was approved by the Chinese Government in 2001. Efforts were
made to conserve the species, but a late 2006 expedition failed to
find any baiji in the river. Organizers declared the baiji
functionally extinct. The baiji represents the first documented
global extinction of a "megafaunal" vertebrate for over 50 years
since the demise of the
Japanese sea lion
Japanese sea lion and the Caribbean monk seal
in the 1950s. It also signified the disappearance of an entire mammal
family of river dolphins (Lipotidae). The baiji's extinction would
be the first recorded extinction of a well-studied cetacean species
(it is unclear if some previously extinct varieties were species or
subspecies) to be directly attributable to human influence.
Swiss economist and CEO of the baiji.org Foundation, August Pfluger
funded the expedition, in which an international team, taken in part
from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the
Fisheries Research Agency in Japan, searched for six weeks for signs
of the dolphin. The search took place almost a decade after the last
exploration in 1997, which turned up only 13 of the cetaceans.
In August 2007, a Chinese man reportedly videotaped a large white
animal swimming in the Yangtze. Although it was tentatively
confirmed that the animal on the video is probably a baiji, the
presence of only one or a few animals, particularly of advanced age,
is not enough to save a functionally extinct species from true
extinction. The last known living baiji was Qiqi (淇淇), who died in
World Wildlife Fund
World Wildlife Fund is calling for the preservation of any
possible baiji habitat, in case the species is located and can be
A related species from the
Neogene is Parapontoporia.
1 Anatomy and morphology
3 Evolutionary history
5.1 Causes of decline
5.4 Conservation efforts
5.4.1 In situ conservation
5.4.2 Ex-situ conservation
5.4.3 Captive specimens
5.5 Current status
6 See also
8 External links
Anatomy and morphology
Baiji were thought to breed in the first half of the year, the peak
calving season being from February to April. A 30% pregnancy rate
was observed. Gestation would last 10–11 months, delivering one
calf at a time; the interbirth interval was 2 years. Calves measured
around 80–90 centimetres (31–35 in) at birth, and nursed for
8–20 months. Males reached sexual maturity at age four, females
at age six. Mature males were about 2.3 metres (7 ft
7 in) (7.5 ft) long, females 2.5 metres (8 ft
2 in), the longest specimen 2.7 metres (8 ft
10 in). The animal weighed 135–230 kilograms
(298–507 lb), with a lifespan estimated at 24 years in the
Dolphin is pale blue to gray on the dorsal
(back) side, and white on the ventral (belly) side. It has a long and
slightly-upturned beak with 31–36 conical teeth on either jaw. Its
dorsal fin is low and triangular in shape and resembles a
light-colored flag when the dolphin swims just below the surface of
the murky Yangtze River, hence the name "white-flag" dolphin. It has
smaller eyes compared to oceanic dolphins.
When escaping from danger, the baiji can reach 60 km/h
(37 mph), but usually stays within 30 to 40 km/h (19 to
25 mph). Because of its poor vision, the baiji relies primarily
on sonar for navigation. The sonar system also plays an important
role in socializing, predator avoidance, group coordination, and
expressing emotions. Sound emission is focused and highly directed by
the shape of the skull and melon. Peak frequencies of echolocation
clicks are between 70 kHz and 100 kHz.
Historically the baiji occurred along 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi)
of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze from
Yichang in the
west to the mouth of the river, near to Shanghai, as well as in Poyang
and Dongting lakes, and the smaller Qiantang river to the south. This
had been reduced by several hundred kilometres both upstream and
downstream, and was limited to the main channel of the Yangtze,
principally the middle reaches between the two large tributary lakes,
Dongting and Poyang. Approximately 12% of the world’s human
population lives and works within the
Yangtze River catchment area,
putting pressure on the river. The construction of the Three
Gorges Dam, along with other smaller damming projects, also led to
Fossil records suggest that the dolphin first appeared 25 million
years ago and migrated from the
Pacific Ocean to the
Yangtze River 20
million years ago. It was one of four species of dolphins known to
have made fresh water their exclusive habitat. The other five species,
including the boto and the La Plata dolphin, have survived in the Río
de la Plata and Amazon rivers in South America and the
Indus rivers on the Indian subcontinent.
It is estimated that there were 5,000 baiji when they were described
in the ancient dictionary
Erya circa 3rd century BC.
It is well known the river dolphins are not a natural group. Their
mitochondrial genome reveals a split of two separate lineages,
Platanista and Lipotes + (Inia + Pontoporia), having no sister
relationship with each other, and the Platanista lineage is always
within the odontocete clade instead of having a closer affinity to
Mysticeti. The position of the Platanista is more basal, suggesting
separate divergence of this lineage well before the other one. The
Lipotes has a sister relationship with Inia + pontoporia, and they
together formed the sister group to the Delphinoidea. This result
strongly supports paraphyly of the classical river dolphins, and the
nonplatanistoid river dolphins do represent a monophyletic grouping,
with the Lipotidae as the sister taxa to (Iniidae + Pontoporiidae),
and is well congruent with the studies based on short interspersed
repetitive elements (SINEs).
Low values of haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity were found
for the baiji of the Yangtze River. The analysis of molecular variance
(AMOVA) supported a highlevel of overall genetic structure. The males
having a higher genetic differentiation than the females suggested a
significant female –biased dispersal.
The aquatic adaptations of the baiji and other cetaceans have happened
slowly and can be linked to PSGs and/or other functional changes.
Comparative genopic analyses have uncovered that the baiji have a slow
molecular clock and molecular adaptations to their aquatic
environment. This information leads scientists to conclude that a
bottleneck must have occurred near the end of the last deglaciation, a
time that coincided with rapid temperature decrease and a rise in
eustatic sea level. Scientists have also looked into positively
selected genes (PSGs) in the baiji genome which are used for DNA
repair and response to DNA stimulus. These PSGs have not been found
previously in any other mammal species. Pathways being used for DNA
repair have been known to have a major impact on brain development and
have been implicated in diseases including microcephaly. The slow down
of the substitution rate among cetaceans may have been affected by the
evolution of DNA damage pathways. Over time, river dolphins, including
the baiji, have had a reduction in the size of their eyes and the
acuity of their vision. This probably stems from poor visibility in
fluvial and estuarine environments. When analyzing the baiji genome,
scientists have found that there are four genes that have lost their
function due to a frameshift mutation or premature stop codons. The
baiji has the lowest single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequency
reported thus far among mammals. This low frequency could be related
to the relatively low rate of molecular evolution in cetaceans;
however, considering that the decrease in the rate of molecular
evolution in the baiji was not as great as the decrease in
heterozygosity rate, it is likely that much if the low genetic
diversity observed was caused by the precipitous decline in the total
baiji population in recent decades and the associated breedings.
The reconstructed demographic history over the last 100,000 years
featured a continual population contraction through the last glacial
maximum, a serious bottleneck during the last deglaciation, and
sustained population growth after the eustatic sea level approached
the current levels. The close correlation between population trends,
regional temperatures, and eustatic sea levels suggest a dominant role
for global and local climate changes in shaping the baiji's ancient
Per Chinese folklore, a beautiful young girl is said to have lived
with her stepfather on the banks of the river Yangtze. He was evil,
and a greedy man out for his own self-interest. One day, he took the
girl on a boat, intending to sell her on the market. Out on the river,
though, he became infatuated with her beauty and tried to take
advantage of her. But she freed herself by plunging into the river
whereupon a big storm came and sank the boat. After the storm had thus
settled, people saw a beautiful dolphin swimming – the incarnation
of the girl – which became known as the ‘Goddess of the
Yangtze.’ The baiji, in the region of Yangtze, is regarded as a
symbol of peace and prosperity.
In the 1950s, the population was estimated at 6,000 animals, but
declined rapidly over the subsequent five decades. Only a few hundred
were left by 1970. Then the number dropped down to 400 by the 1980s
and then to 13 in 1997 when a full-fledged search was conducted. Now
the most endangered cetacean in the world, according to the Guinness
Book of World Records, the baiji was last sighted in August 2004,
though there was a possible sighting in 2007. It is listed as an
endangered species by the U.S. government under the Endangered Species
Act. It is now thought to be extinct.
Causes of decline
Yangtze River § Degradation of the river, and Water
pollution in China
World Conservation Union
World Conservation Union (IUCN) has noted the following as threats
to the species: a period of hunting by humans during the Great Leap
Forward, entanglement in fishing gear, the illegal practice of
electric fishing, collisions with boats and ships, habitat loss, and
pollution. Further studies have noted that a lack of information on
the baiji's historical distribution or ecology, the environmental
impact of the construction of the
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam on the living space
of the baiji, and the failure to act for the protection of the baiji
are also threats to the species.
During the Great Leap Forward, when traditional veneration of the
baiji was denounced, it was hunted for its flesh and skin, and quickly
China developed economically, pressure on the river dolphin grew
significantly. Industrial and residential waste flowed into the
Yangtze. The riverbed was dredged and reinforced with concrete in many
locations. Ship traffic multiplied, boats grew in size, and fishermen
employed wider and more lethal nets. Noise pollution caused the nearly
blind animal to collide with propellers. Stocks of the dolphin's prey
declined drastically in the late 20th century, with some fish
populations declining to one thousandth of their pre-industrial
A range of anthropogenic led causes (e.g. boat collisions, dam
construction) which also threaten freshwater cetaceans in other river
systems, have been implicated in the decline of the baiji population.
However, the primary factor was probably unsustainable by-catch in
local fisheries, which use rolling hooks, nets (gill nets and fyke
nets) and electrofishing; similarly by-catch constitutes the principal
cause of mortality in many populations of small cetaceans worldwide.
Although there are relatively few data available on baiji mortality,
at least half of all known baiji deaths in the 1970s and 1980s were
caused by rolling hooks and other fishing gear, and electrofishing
accounted for 40% of baiji deaths recorded during the 1990s. Unlike
most historical-era extinctions of large-bodied animals, the baiji was
the victim not of active persecution but of incidental mortality
resulting from massive-scale human environmental impacts, primarily
Its extinction merely reflects the latest stage in the progressive
ecological deterioration of the Yangtze region. In the 1970s and
1980s, an estimated half of baiji deaths were attributed to
entanglement in fishing gear and nets. By the early 2000s, electric
fishing was considered "the most important and immediate direct threat
to the baiji's survival." Though outlawed, this fishing technique
is widely and illegally practiced throughout China. The building of
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam further reduced the dolphin's habitat and
facilitated an increase in ship traffic; these were thought to make it
extinct in the wild.
There are some scientists who have found that pollution has resulted
in emerging diseases caused by paracitic infection in the Baiji
population. The Baiji's reliance on aquatic environments could have
resulted in interaction with both terrestrial and marine pathogen
risks. Since the
Baiji has a limited distribution endemic to the
Yangtze River, the freshwater environment may have a higher pathogen
level than marine waters (although systematic environmental studies
have yet to be conducted). The pathogens in these waters could lead to
viral infections that can result in epizootics, which has caused the
deaths of thousands of marine mammals over the last twenty years.
There have also been captured/killed individuals that have had
helminth infestations in the stomach which leads scientists to believe
that parasitic infections could be another cause of decline amongst
It has been noted, however, that the declining geographical range that
baiji have been spotted in is not connected to the population loss of
baiji. A model provided by Yangtze fishing communities show that the
baiji population was not connected by geographical range or
fragmentation of location, as the baiji make long-term and periodic
movements throughout several years. The movements of the baiji left
the species unaffected by dwindling geographical range.
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circa 3rd century BC: population estimated at 5,000 animals
1950s: population was estimated at 6,000 animals
Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward denounces the animal's traditional
Gezhouba Dam project begins
1979: The People's Republic of
China declares the Chinese river
1983: National law declares hunting the Chinese river dolphin illegal
1984: The plight of the baiji draws headlines in China
1986: Population estimated to be 300
Gezhouba Dam complete
1990: Population estimated to be 200
1994: Construction of the
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam begins
IUCN lists the species as critically endangered
1997: Population estimated to be less than 50 (13 found in survey); a
dead baiji was found with 103 open wounds
1998: 7 found in survey
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam begins filling reservoir
2004: Last confirmed sighting
2006: None found in survey, declared "extinct"
2007: Results of survey published in the journal Biology Letters.
Yangtze River baiji surveys between 1979 and 1996 ( * Lower
No. of km surveyed
No. of baiji sighted
No. of baiji estimated
During the 1970s,
China recognized the precarious state of the river
dolphin. The government outlawed deliberate killing, restricted
fishing, and established nature reserves.
In 1978, the
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences established the Freshwater
Dolphin Research Centre (淡水海豚研究中心) as a branch of the
Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology. In the 1980s and 1990s, several
attempts were made to capture dolphins and relocate them to a reserve.
A breeding program would then allow the species to recover and be
reintroduced to the Yangtze after conditions improve. However,
capturing the rare, quick dolphins proved to be difficult, and few
captives survived more than a few months.
The first Chinese aquatic species protection organisation, the Baiji
Dolphin Conservation Foundation of Wuhan
(武汉白鱀豚保护基金), was founded in December 1996. It has
raised 1,383,924.35 CNY (about 100,000 USD) and used the funds for in
vitro cell preservation and to maintain the baiji facilities,
Shishou Sanctuary that was flooded in 1998.
Conservation efforts of the baiji along the Yangtze River
Since 1992 five protected areas of the Yangtze have been designated as
baiji reserves. Four were built in the main Yangtze channel where
baiji are actively protected and fishing is banned: two national
Shishou City and Xin-Luo) and two provincial (
Zhenjiang). In the past 20 years, five nature reserves have been
established along the river. Imposing maximum prohibition of harmful
and illegal fishing methods in the reserves might prolong the process
of extinction of these cetaceans in the wild, but so far, the
administrative measures taken in the reserves have not yet kept the
baiji population from sharply declining. As humans continue to occupy
the river and use the natural resources it provided , the question as
to whether the river itself can reach a point later in the future to
become a habitat for these species to live in once again remained, for
the most part, unanswered by conversationalists. In Shishou, Hubei
Province, and Tongling,
Anhui Province, the two semi-natural reserves
established in these regions aimed to build in an environment for the
baiji, as well as another mammalian species, the finless porpoise, to
breed. Through careful management, both these species not only
survived, but did in fact reproduced successfully enough to provide
some hope that the
Baiji may be able to make a comeback.
The fifth protected area is an isolated oxbow lake located off of the
north bank of the river near to
Shishou City: the Tian-e-Zhou Oxbow
Semi-natural Reserve. Combined, these five reserves cover just over
350 kilometres (220 mi), about 1/3 of the baijis range, leaving
two-thirds of the species' habitat unprotected.
As well as these five protected areas there are also five "Protection
Stations" in Jianli, Chenglingji, Hukou, Wuhu and Zhengjiang. These
stations consist of two observers and a motorized fishing boat with
the aim of conducting daily patrols, making observations and
investigating reports of illegal fishing.
In 2001 the Chinese government approved a Conservation Action Plan for
Cetaceans of the Yangtze River. This plan re-emphasised the three
measures identified at the 1986 workshop and was adopted as the
national policy for the conservation of the Baiji. Despite all of
these workshops and conventions little money was available in
aid the conservation efforts. It has been estimated that US$1 million
was needed to begin the project and maintain it for a further 3
Efforts to save the mammals proved to be too little and too late.
August Pfluger, chief executive of the Baiji.org Foundation, said,
"The strategy of the Chinese government was a good one, but we didn't
have time to put it into action." Furthermore, the conservation
attempts have been criticized, as even with the international
attention about the need for conservation for the baiji, the Chinese
government did not "[make] any serious investment" to protect the
In situ conservation
Most scientists agreed that the best course of action was an ex-situ
effort working in parallel with an in situ effort. The deterioration
Yangtze River had to be reversed to preserve the habitat. The
ex-situ projects aimed to raise a large enough population over time so
that some, if not all, of the dolphins could be returned to the
Yangtze, so the habitat within the river had to be maintained anyway.
Shishou Tian-e-Zhou is a 21-kilometre (13 mi) long,
2-kilometre (1.2 mi) wide oxbow lake located near
Shishou City in
Shishou has been described as being "like a miniature
Yangtze … possessing all of the requirements for a semi-natural
reserve". From the designation as a national reserve in 1992 it has
been intended to be used for not only the baiji but also the Yangtze
finless porpoise. In 1990 the first finless porpoises were relocated
to the reserve and since then have been surviving and reproducing
well. As of April 2005 26 finless porpoises were known to live in the
reserve. A baiji was introduced in December 1995, but died during the
summer flood of 1996. To deal with these annual floods a dyke was
constructed between the Yangtze and Shishou. Now water is controlled
from a sluice gate located at the downstream mouth of the oxbow lake.
It has been reported that since the installation of this sluice gate,
water quality has declined since no annual transfer of nutrients can
occur. Roughly 6,700 people live on the ‘island’ within the oxbow
lake and so some limited fishing is permitted.
The success of
Shishou with the porpoises and with migratory birds and
other wetland fauna encouraged the local Wetlands Management Team to
put forward an application to award the site Ramsar status. It has
also been noted that the site has incredible potential for ecotourism,
which could be used to generate much needed revenue to improve the
quality of the reserve. The necessary infrastructure does not
currently exist to realize these opportunities.
A baiji conservation dolphinarium was established at the Institute of
Hydrobiology (IHB) in
Wuhan in 1992. This was planned as a backup to
any other conservation efforts by producing an area completely
protected from any threats, and where the baiji could be easily
observed. The site includes an indoor and outdoor holding pool, a
water filtration system, food storage and preparation facilities,
research labs and a small museum. The aim is to also generate income
from tourism which can be put towards the baiji plight. The pools are
not very large (25 metres (82 ft) arc [kidney shaped] x 7 metres
(23 ft) wide x 3.5 metres (11 ft) deep, 10 metres
(33 ft) diameter, 2 metres (6 ft 7 in) deep and 12
metres (39 ft) diameter, 3.5 metres (11 ft) deep) and so are
not capable of holding many baijis at one time.
Douglas Adams and
Mark Carwardine documented their encounters with the
endangered animals on their conservation travels for the BBC programme
Last Chance to See. Through firsthand experience, they went to China,
Baiji beer and
Baiji cola, staying in the
Baiji Hotel and
using Lipotes vexillifer toilet paper. They came across
Baiji fertilizer. They met Qi Qi, the beautiful bluish-grey
dolphin with a long, narrow, slightly upturned beak, a low triangular
dorsal fin, broad flippers with tiny eyes. Qi-Qi was just a year old
then, injured by fishing hooks in 1980 and taken into captivity to be
nursed back to health. Out of the seven times Mark and Douglas had
visited China, never did they encounter a wild and free Yangtze river
dolphin. It is even more impossible now with the likelihood that
Lipotes vexillfer may be the first cetacean to have been driven to
extinction by human activity. The book by the same name, published
in 1990, included pictures of a captive specimen, a male named Qi Qi
(淇淇) that lived in the
Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology
dolphinarium from 1980 to July 14, 2002. Discovered by a fisherman in
Dongting Lake, he became the sole resident of the
(白鱀豚水族馆) beside East Lake. A sexually mature female was
captured in late 1995, but died after half a year in 1996 when the
Tian-e-Zhou Oxbow Nature Reserve (石首半自然白鱀豚保护区),
which had contained only finless porpoises since 1990, was flooded.
Details of captive baijis
(IHB = Institute of Hydrobiology, NNU = Nanjing Normal University,
NFRI = Nanjing Fisheries Research Institute)
Conditions of rearing
1980-01-12 – 2002-07-14
Outdoor & indoor, non-filtered
1981-04-22 – 1982-02-03
1986-03-31 – 1986-06-14
1986-03-31 – 1988-09-27
1981-03-03 – 1981-03-20
1981-12-07 – 1982-04-16
See also: Yangtze Freshwater
Dolphin Expedition 2006
Xinhua News Agency
Xinhua News Agency announced on December 4, 2006 that no Chinese
river dolphins were detected in a six-week survey of the Yangtze River
conducted by 30 researchers. The failure of the Yangtze Freshwater
Dolphin Expedition (simplified Chinese: 长江淡水豚类考察;
traditional Chinese: 長江淡水豚類考察; pinyin: Chāng Jiāng
dànshuǐ túnlèi kǎochá) raised suspicions of the first
unequivocal extinction of a cetacean species due to human action
(some extinct baleen whale populations might not have been distinct
species). Poor water and weather conditions may have prevented
sightings, but expedition leaders declared it "functionally
extinct" on December 13, 2006, as fewer are likely to be alive than
are needed to propagate the species. However, footage believed to
be a baiji from August 2007 was released to the public.
Japanese sea lion
Japanese sea lion and
Caribbean monk seal
Caribbean monk seal disappeared in the
1950s, the last aquatic mammals to become extinct. Several land-based
mammal species and subspecies have disappeared since then. If the
baiji is now extinct, the vaquita has become the most endangered
marine mammal species.
Some scientists retain hope for the species:
The fact that the expedition didn't see any baiji dolphins during this
expedition does not necessarily mean that the species is extinct or
even 'effectively extinct', because it covered a considerable distance
in a relatively short period of time... However, we are extremely
concerned. The Yangtze is highly degraded, and we spotted dramatically
fewer finless porpoises than we have in the past.
— Wang Limin, director of the World Wide Fund for Nature, Wuhan
A report of the expedition was published online in the journal Biology
Letters on August 7, 2007, in which the authors conclude "We are
forced to conclude that the baiji is now likely to be extinct,
probably due to unsustainable by-catch in local fisheries".
"Witness to Extinction: How We Failed To Save The Yangtze River
Dolphin", an account of the 2006 baiji survey by Samuel Turvey, the
lead author of the
Biology Letters paper, was published by Oxford
University Press in autumn 2008. This book investigated the baiji's
probable extinction within the wider-scale context of how and why
international efforts to conserve the species had failed, and whether
conservation recovery programmes for other threatened species were
likely to face similar potentially disastrous administrative hurdles.
Some reports suggest that information about the baiji and its demise
is being suppressed in China. Other reports cite government media
English language reports in
China Central Television and Xinhua News
Agency as evidence to the contrary.
In August 2007, Zeng Yujiang reportedly videotaped a large white
animal swimming in the Yangtze in
Anhui Province. Wang Kexiong
of the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
has tentatively confirmed that the animal on the video is a baiji.
On October 3, 2011 the sighting of almost 20 porpoises was reported in
Chinese media. The sighting was done from a bridge in Nanjing city. It
should be noted however, that the sighting has not been confirmed by
independent media sources.
On October 11, 2007, Chinese state media announced that under a
development plan an additional 4,000,000 people will be relocated from
their homes near the dam by the year 2020 due to ecological concerns,
while a forum of officials and experts warned of a possible
“environmental catastrophe” if preventive measures are not
taken. Currently, the quality of water in the Yangtze is
falling rapidly, due to the dam's preventing dispersal of pollutants;
algae blooms have risen progressively since the dam’s construction;
and soil erosion has increased, causing riverbank collapses and
landslides. The report detailing this was officially released in
September 2007. Senior Chinese government officials and scholars
said the dam could cause a “huge disaster ... if steps are not
taken promptly.” The same scholars and officials previously had
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam project. Xinhua also reported that
tens of billions of yuan had been spent to prevent pollution and
geological disasters by tree planting, measures to maintain species
diversification, shutting down 1,500 polluting industrial and mining
enterprises and building 70 sewage and waste treatment plants, all of
which are "progressing well." 
In October 2016 several news sources announced a recent sighting of
what has been speculated to be a baiji.
List of endangered and protected species of China
Environmental issues in China
Wildlife of China
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lipotes vexillifer.
Wikispecies has information related to Lipotes vexillifer
US National Marine Fisheries Service baiji web page
ARKive – images and movies of the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer)
Lipotes vexillifer – EDGE of Existence
Baiji Blog" – EDGE of Existence
Baiji Foundation – Networking Expertise for Conservation of
The Nature Conservancy's
Species Profile: Yangtze Dolphin
Animal Info page on baiji
Baiji or Chinese River Dolphin" (cetacea.org) at
Wayback Machine (archived March 5, 2005)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Lipotes vexillifer, Endangered and Protected
Species Database of
uBio Namebank entry
Online documentary about
Dolphin – Whale Trackers
World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – species profile for River
Dolphins[permanent dead link]
Save the Baji
Photos in Hudong
Null Hypothesis "R.I.P. Yangtse River Dolphin"
BBC News "Last chance for China's dolphin"
BBC News "Failure in Yangtze dolphin search"
Baiji Foundation "Hope dies last"
Baiji is functionally extinct
Search for baiji
New Scientist "Yangtze river dolphin is almost certainly extinct"
Dolphin Likely Extinct
Scientific American August 08, 2007, "Requiem for a Freshwater
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Shepherd's beaked whale
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Cuvier's beaked whale
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