Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rare river porpoises showing up dead‎, China

Within the last month and a half, the corpses of 12 endangered finless porpoises, including a pregnant one, have been found around Dongting Lake, Hunan province.

It has triggered worries from experts about the rare species possibly becoming extinct.

Scientists said finless porpoises, which have lived in the Yangtze River and adjacent lakes for more than 20 million years, will become extinct within 15 years. The porpoises are also called "river pigs".

"Apparently the prolonged drought and low water level due to climate change and increasing offshore human activities are reducing the living space for finless porpoises, accelerating its extinction," Wang Kexiong, an expert of the Institute of Hydrobiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told China Daily.

It is the first time he has heard of so many dead porpoises found within such a short period. Read More