|Chinese river dolphin (Baiji)|
|An illustration of the Baiji|
|Size comparison against an average human|
|Natural range of the baiji|
The baiji was a graceful animal, with a long, narrow and slightly upturned beak and a flexible neck. As opposed to some other freshwater dolphins, like the Indus River dolphin, its eyes were functional, although greatly reduced. Its coloration was bluish-gray to gray above and white to ashy-white below. It weighed 135 - 230 kg (300 - 510 lb) and measured as much as 2.5 m (8.2') in length.
Reasons for extinction
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) noted these threats to the species:
- a period of hunting by humans during the Great Leap Forward,
- entanglement in fishing gear,
- the illegal practice of electric fishing,
- collisions with boats and ships, habitat loss, and
Further studies have noted the environmental impact of building the Three Gorges Dam on the living space of the baiji.
It was the first dolphin species that humans have made extinct.
Images for kids
Chinese river dolphin Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.