Witness to Extinction: How we Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin

Paperback | September 6, 2009

bySamuel Turvey

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The tragic recognition of the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin or baiji in 2007 became a major news story and sent shockwaves around the world. It made a romantic story, for the baiji was a unique and beautiful creature that features in many Chinese legends and folk tales. The Goddessof the Yangtze, as it was known, was also the lone representative of an entire and ancient branch of the Tree of Life. But perhaps the greater tragedy is that its status as one of the world's most threatened mammals had been widely recognized, yet despite wide publicity virtually no internationalfunds became available.A compelling read by a young naturalist, Samuel Turvey tells the story of the plight of the Yangtze River Dolphin from his unique perspective as a conservation biologist deeply involved in the struggle to save the dolphin. This is both a celebration of a beautiful and remarkable animal that oncegraced one of China's greatest rivers, its natural history and its role as a cultural symbol; and also a personal, eyewitness account of the failures of policy and the struggle to get funds that led to its tragic demise. It is a true cautionary tale that we must learn from, for there are countlessother threatened species that will suffer from the same human mistakes, and whose loss we shall not know until it is too late.

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The tragic recognition of the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin or baiji in 2007 became a major news story and sent shockwaves around the world. It made a romantic story, for the baiji was a unique and beautiful creature that features in many Chinese legends and folk tales. The Goddessof the Yangtze, as it was known, was also the...

Samuel Turvey was born in Lohja, Finland, and was educated at Bristol Grammar School and St John's Collge, Oxford. He received a D.Phil. in Chinese palaeontology in 2002, and currently works at the Zoological Society of London. He is one of the team of scientists who have developed the EDGE of Existence conservation programme, which a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.07 inPublished:September 6, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199549486

ISBN - 13:9780199549481

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Table of Contents

Prologue1. The Goddess of the Yangtze2. The Amazon of the East3. Qi Qi4. A New Hope?5. The Rarest Animal in the World6. Everything Is Going to be OK7. The Politics of Extinction8. End Game9. The Hunting of the Snark10. The Golden Channel11. So Long, and Thanks For All the Fishing12. What Have We Learnt?