After 100 million years of life and 65 million years of extinction, why did the Yangtze River Baiji extinct?

2020-01-03 | Mars One original |

Recently, the Yangtze River Baiji has been declared functionally extinct. As the king of freshwater fish in China, it has failed to escape the doom to extinction, which is regrettable.

It can be seen from the name that the Yangtze River Baiji is a species unique to China. They live in the Yangtze River there are also traces off the coast. The Yangtze Baiji is a very ancient fish, and their ancestors appeared to this dayThe Cretaceous, more than 100 million years ago, lived in the same era as dinosaurs. The Yangtze River white pheasant experienced the fifth species extinction 65 million years ago, but they ended up extinct today.

The Yangtze River Baijiu stands proudly at the top of the Yangtze River food chain with its huge body. They can reach 7 to 8 meters in length and weigh hundreds of kilograms. The Yangtze River Baiji once flourished. Back in the 70s of the last centuryIn the 1950s, the Yangtze River baiji was harvested in large quantities as a food fish.

By 1983, the drastically reduced number of Yangtze River white pheasants was classified as a protected animal and they were banned from fishing. Even though people no longer fished Yangtze River white pheasants, due to the continuous destruction of the ecological environment, by the end of the last century,The number has dropped sharply, with only a few hundred remaining.

In 2002, people captured a Yangtze River Baiji. Scientists released it in early 2003. However, it never occurred to them that this was the last time people saw a living Yangtze River Baiji. Since then, for the Yangtze RiverThe search for white maggots yielded nothing, and people began to worry that this extremely rare species was on the verge of extinction.

And recently, a study published by Chinese scientists in the journal Science of The Total Environment [1] pointed out that the Yangtze River Baiji has been functionally extinct from 2005 to 2010.This means that they are basically unable to survive in nature.

Like other extinct species, the functional extinction of the Yangtze River white pheasant, human beings have the greatest responsibility. First, human overfishing has caused their populations to continue to decline. Second, various human activities on the Yangtze RiverFor example, sand mining, dam construction, and ship navigation will all damage the habitat of the Yangtze River Baiji and make them lose their environment.

At present, there are still some fish in endangered state, for example, Chinese sturgeon, white-fin dolphins. If you do not further protect the water ecology, rare fish that have been declared functionally extinct can be more than the Yangtze River white sturgeon. I hope the Yangtze River will pass ten years.After the fishing ban, we can still see these "water pandas."


[1] Hui Zhang, Ivan Jari ?, David L. Roberts, et al., Extinction of one of the world's largest freshwater fishes: Lessons for conserving the endangered Yangtze fauna, Science of The Total Environment, 2019, 136242.

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