The Extinction of Baiji
The Baiji, also known as the Chinese River Dolphin, are part of the family Plantanistiade, the river dolphin family. They had exsited in the Yangtze River in China for thousand of years. Nevertheless, the Baiji was recently declared extinct. The baiji’s demise can be attributed to over fishing, its lethal environment and the Great Leap Forward in China. Excessive and illegal fishing was a great threat to the baiji’s way of life. Electric fishing and the fishing method called “rolling hooks” were been banned in China. However, fishermen on the Yangtze River still use them out of convenience, and enforcement of the ban was difficult. The expert Zhou states, “This (electic) fishing method, in which an under waterdevice is used to stun aquatic animals, kills any organism induding what was once the dolphin’s prey.” 40 percent of Dolphins deaths were due to this kind of fishing annually (Gerg Ruland). In addition, rolling hooks, “long, braided lines with numerous sharp hooks are meant to catch fish, caused a number of baiji death.” As long as the baiji was caught by one of the hooks, it would struggle with more rolling hooks. Finally, the blood flew out of the baiji’s body, and it would die. (Requiem for a Freashwater Dolphin) . The environment in the Yangtze River, where the baiji had settled its habitat in, was fatal to the baiji. Traffic on the Yangtza River, which is the busiest in the world, damaged the audition of the baiji. Lovgren in his article states that, “The large-ship traffic on the Yangtze, one of the world’s busiest waterways, confounds the sonic wave that the nearly blind dolphin used to depend on to find food.” Moreover, the boats on the Yangtze attracted a number of the baiji to collide with propellers, since the propellers produced much of the sound wave and confused the baiji’s audition (Ruland). Another assignable cause that destroyed the baiji’s habitat was dams along the Yangtze River. Thes dams further...
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