Navigation Links
Scientists fear rare dolphin driven to extinction by human activities
Date:9/11/2007

An international research team, including biologists from NOAA Fisheries Service, has reported in an online scientific journal that it had failed to find a single Yangtze River dolphin, or baiji, during a six-week survey in China. The scientists fear the marine mammal is now extinct due to fishing and commercial development, which would make it the first cetacean to vanish as result of human activity.

The research paper, published last month in the online journal Biology Letters, reports that an intensive acoustical and visual survey of the main Yangtze River where the baiji live failed to find what was already considered to be one of the worlds most endangered species.

The last time these animals were surveyed was in the 1990s when only 13 were found, said Barbara Taylor, a marine biologist at NOAAs Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, Calif., and one of the researchers on the scientific team that was working with local scientists at the invitation of the Chinese government. This time, we detected no baiji, either visually or acoustically. This would be the first human-caused extinction of a dolphin or whale and it is particularly sad for the last member of a family of a species that is over 20 million years old.

The baiji is one of only a few dolphin species that is known to have adapted from the ocean to a freshwater environment. The likely cause of the baijis decline is from the use of fishing nets with hooks that snag and drown the dolphins as bycatch. Other causes may include habitat degradation.

Scientists are also concerned that this could just be the first of many human-caused extinctions of marine mammals that are under stress around the world.

We are concerned about several vulnerable species of dolphin and porpoise around the world, including the vaquita," said Nicole Le Boeuf, international fisheries biologist for NOAA Fisheries. The vaquita is a critically endangered porpoise found only in the uppermost part of Mexico's Gulf of California. Vaquita have been reduced to only a few hundred animals because of accidental deaths in small-scale fishing nets. In addition to the vaquita, many coastal dolphins and porpoises in other parts of the world are highly vulnerable to being accidentally caught in similar fishing gear.

The vaquita and other highly imperiled marine mammals represent a major conservation challenge, said Le Boeuf. There is very real global concern for these species, especially with the all but certain loss of the bajii in China. NOAA and its international partners are working together to lend their support to Mexico and other nations with similar species in their coastal and inland waters."

In the end, it may come down to conserving not just dolphins and porpoises, but local communities as well. "We have to find a way to let local fishermen put food on their tables that doesn't involve putting nets in the water that decimate these coastal dolphin species," said Taylor.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Milbury
jim.milbury@noaa.gov
562-980-4006
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
3. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
4. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
6. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
7. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
8. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
9. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
10. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
11. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/11/2017)... Intoxalock, a leading ignition interlock provider, has ... patent-pending calibration device. With this new technology, Intoxalock is ... data logs and process repairs at service center locations, ... drunk driving through the application of cutting-edge technologies is ... also for the customer who can get back on ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... LA JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2017 ... Phase 1 safety studies in healthy volunteers of ... CM4620, intended to treat acute pancreatitis. ... pancreas, is typically a mild disorder, but can ... to organ failure and sepsis, where extended hospital ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 5, 2017  Delta ID Inc., a ... scanning technology for automotive at CES® 2017. Delta ID ... ) to demonstrate the use of iris scanning as ... authenticate the driver in a car, and as a ... driving experience. Delta ID and Gentex will ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Market Research Future published a half-cooked research report ... to grow at a CAGR of 12% during the period 2016 ... ... the abnormal cell division without any control. These abnormal cells have ... These cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... WARREN, N.J. , Jan. 17, 2017 Roka Bioscience, ... on providing advanced testing solutions for the detection of foodborne pathogens ... and CEO.  Ms. Duseau succeeds Paul Thomas , the Company,s ... Chairman of the Company,s Board of Directors.  The changes are effective ... Board of Directors, effective today. ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... -- Only nine percent of U.S. consumers believe pharmaceutical and ... percent believe health insurance companies do, according to a ... U.S. adults believe health care providers (such as doctors ... (23%). "We are in the midst of ... vice president of reputation management and public affairs at ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... and Hong Kong (PRWEB) , ... January 17, ... ... lifecycle management software, and NetDimensions, a global provider of learning and performance management ... agreement for the mainland China market. , “In the life sciences industry, organizations ...
Breaking Biology Technology: