Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Congrats to the Humans

Dolphin species a goner, thanks to you know who:

Charles Q. ChoiSpecial to LiveScienceLiveScience.comWed
Aug 8, 5:00 PM ET
The Yangtze River dolphin is now almost certainly extinct,
making it the first dolphin that humans drove to extinction, scientists have now
concluded after an intense search for the endangered species.
The loss also
represents the first global extinction of megafauna—any creature larger than
about 200 pounds (100 kilograms)—for more than 50 years, since the disappearance
of the Caribbean monk seal (Monachus tropicalis).
The Yangtze River dolphin
or baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) of China has long been recognized as one of the
world's most rare and threatened mammal species.
"It's a relic species, more
than 20 million years old, that persisted through the most amazing kinds of
changes in the planet," said marine biologist Barbara Taylor at the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service. "It's been here
longer than the Andes Mountains have been on Earth."
In 1999, the surviving
baiji population was estimated to be as low as just 13 dolphins, compared to 400
known baiji in 1981. The last confirmed glimpse of a baiji was documented by a
photo taken in 2002, although unverified sightings were reported as recently as
2006. read the rest here.