Death for China's 20 Million Year Old River Goddess
It is likely the first big aquatic mammal has become extinct due to human activity. "For 20 million years, the white-fin dolphin, or baiji, swam China's longest river, the Yangtze. But a few years of breakneck development, overfishing and a massive increase in shipping have reduced sightings of this shy, graceful creature to zero." After 38 days of failure, Chinese scientists intend to continue their search for the rare Yangtze river dolphin [search]. The extinction of this nearly blind freshwater cetacean should indicate that humans must work harder to achieve greater species conservation. For far too long humanity has treated natural freshwater sources and other critical global ecosystems as waste dumps. If we do not stop, all life is at risk, and what is likely to remain are dandelions, rats and cockroaches, if that. As we enter deeply within the Earth's sixth great extinction event [search], destruction of ecosystems and human over-population and consumption make human extinction all the more likely.