ANOTHER ONE (species) BITES THE DUST! - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-13-2006, 10:48 PM   #1
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ANOTHER ONE (species) BITES THE DUST!

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...path=News/News



Rare Chinese dolphin declared extinct
Dec. 13, 2006. 10:36 AM

CHARLES HUTZLER
ASSOCIATED PRESS



BEIJING — An expedition searching for a rare Yangtze River dolphin ended Wednesday without a single sighting and with the team's leader saying one of the world's oldest species was effectively extinct.



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.



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.''



Overfishing and shipping traffic, whose engines interfere with the sonar the baiji uses to navigate and feed, are likely the main reasons for the mammal's declining numbers, Pfluger said. Though the Yangtze is polluted, water samples taken by the expedition every 30 miles did not show high concentrations of toxic substances, the statement said.



For nearly six weeks, Pfluger's team of 30 scientists scoured a 1,000-mile heavily trafficked stretch of the Yangtze, where the baiji once thrived. The expedition's two boats, equipped with high-tech binoculars and underwater microphones, trailed each other an hour apart without radio contact so that a sighting by one vessel would not prejudice the other.


Around 400 baiji were believed to be living in the Yangtze in the 1980s. The last full-fledged search, in 1997, yielded 13 confirmed sightings, and a fisherman claimed to have seen a baiji in 2004, Pfluger said in an earlier interview.


At least 20 to 25 baiji would now be needed to give the species a chance to survive, the group's statement said, citing Wang Ding, a hydrobiologist and China's foremost campaigner for the baiji.

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I know that there are those in this forum that will like to expound on how this ancient species going extinct is just the "nature of things" but I don't see anything unpreventable and/or "natural" in the list given above of what may have caused this ancient species demise.


I have been monitoring this situation for this species for the last decade and have watched their numbers increasingly decline while the world did nothing.


Now that this species is gone which will be next?


The polar bear comes to mind....unless we learn something from this sad situation and change the ways that we interact with the natural world.


Thanks for your time and consideration.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:54 PM   #2
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We'll live.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:37 PM   #3
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And I guess that's all that matters, isn't it?
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:36 AM   #4
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A range of zero is not a good thing for a species.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
We'll live.

Unfortunately, it's that kind of attitude in life that will ultimately destroy it on earth - including human life.

Thanks for those who care enough to at least read this thread.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
We'll live.
You're joking...right?
I must say, that's a pretty sad attitude to have.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by BrownEyedBoy
We'll live.
Maybe............Maybe not


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Old 12-14-2006, 08:11 AM   #8
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No we will, human beings are and always have been spectacular opportunists, from the most primative tribes to modern societies we can use up resources and wipe out species; the only limit is technology and populations.

Of course I think that beneficial applications of technology are worthwhile pursuits, genetic modification to reduce land use for agriculture and alternative energy sources are some examples.
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:17 AM   #9
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Humans are more virus like than animal like. We love to exploit everything that we can with little regard to anything but our own self-interest. Perhaps one day we will burnout, but that won't happen before we infect many other species with our disease.
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Old 12-14-2006, 08:26 AM   #10
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Were not like a virus in terms of expansion and populating areas, and a virus does not act with malicious intent (and neither does the human species). We are a species of animal like any other with the crucial ability to adapt our environment for our survival. Species don't act with ill-will, it's a question of survival.

Now we may reach a stage where human development can exist without dramatic impact on the natural world, but that can only be achieved with technological development and equitable distribution of that technology. Key word is the distribution of tech because in supporting a developing world with rising living standards with existing resources and means of resource exploitation is not viable.
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:11 AM   #11
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This is a shame. I hate it that so many of these animals were killed. Just like the passenger pigeon....................
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:35 AM   #12
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This is very, very sad. China's respect for life is below zero. It's tragic there's nothing anyone can do about it. On top of their human rights violations, their crimes against animals, historical places and the enviornment are another wall of shame.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:43 AM   #13
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It's a nation rolling out industry to meet the needs of the west, it isn't an issue of blame.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:44 AM   #14
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For more on their pathetic track record, check out this chilling report:

http://www.care2.com/news/member/505984425/142625
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:01 AM   #15
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Whats chilling about that, it is a public health issue - rabies isn't fun and dogs like that aren't part of a natural ecosystem.
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