Yangtze cowfish on verge of extinctionMarch 12th, 2012 - 4:27 pm ICT by IANS
Beijing, March 12 (IANS) The Yangtze cowfish, an endangered sub-species of the dolphin family in China’s Yangtze river, might die out in 15 years if there were no effective preservation methods, an expert said Monday.
The number of cowfish in the river was declining by around six percent each year. Its current population is around 1,000, said Zhu Zuoyan, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Pollution and over-fishing, large-scale hydraulic projects and increasing water transport on the river were threatening the species, said Zhu, an advisor with the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee, the top political advisory group in the country.
Due to the extreme weather in recent years, the cowfish was facing a new menace as the water levels of Dongting and Poyang lakes, their major habitats, were abnormally low.
Zhu has submitted a proposal about expanding a preservation area in Hubei province to protect the cowfish, Xinhua reported.
If there were no preservation measures, the cowfish may face the same destiny as “baiji”, he said.
Baiji refers to the Yangtze river dolphin, which was declared “functionally extinct” in 2006.
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Tags: advisory group, baiji, chinese academy of sciences, cowfish, dolphin family, dongting, extinction, extreme weather, habitats, national committee, political consultative conference, poyang, preservation area, preservation methods, verge, water levels, water transport, xinhua, yangtze river, yangtze river dolphin