. Earth Science News .

China 'river pig' deaths raise extinction fears
by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) April 19, 2012

China says 16 endangered finless porpoises have been found dead since the beginning of the year and experts blame water pollution and climate change for pushing the species toward extinction.

The freshwater porpoise -- popularly known in Chinese as the "river pig" -- mainly lives in China's Yangtze River and two lakes linked to the waterway.

Authorities have discovered 10 dead porpoises in Dongting Lake in the central province of Hunan since March, said a statement Thursday by the government of Yueyang city, which is located on the lake's shore.

Another six dead porpoises have been found in Poyang Lake in the eastern province of Jiangxi since the beginning of the year, the official Xinhua news agency said late Wednesday.

It quoted experts as warning the species will be extinct within a matter of years.

Wang Kexiong, a researcher at China's Institute of Hydrobiology, said water pollution, shipping, sand dredging and illegal fishing were all possible contributing factors to the recent deaths.

Many waterways in China have become heavily contaminated with toxic waste from factories and farms -- pollution blamed on more than three decades of rapid economic growth and lax enforcement of environmental protection laws.

The report said climate change also could be to blame as disrupted weather patterns have caused water levels to drop and make it more difficult for the porpoises to find food.

Tests have shown that some of the porpoises are believed to have died of starvation, it said.

In 2006, China was estimated to have only 1,200 finless porpoises left. That same year, the Baiji -- a freshwater dolphin also native to the Yangtze River -- was declared extinct.

Earlier this year, a survey found just 65 "river pigs" in Dongting Lake and 300-400 in Poyang Lake, the report said.

Following the recent deaths, Yueyang city vowed to investigate and increase protection of the remaining porpoises in Dongting Lake.

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Marine worm feeds on carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide with the help of symbiotic bacteria
Bremen, Germany (SPX) Apr 19, 2012
In a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen and Greifswald University, together with colleagues from Freiburg, Italy and the USA, have revealed that a small marine worm, faced with a scarce food supply in the sandy sediments it lives in off the coast of Elba, must deal with a highly ... read more

Desolation of Pakistan avalanche site

Lawyer to take over at Fukushima plant operator

Toxic gases hamper search at Pakistan avalanche site

New underwater images show damage at Fukushima

Greenpeace says cloud computing 'dirty'

Bristol researchers solve 70-year-old mystery

U.S. Navy Awards Test Devices Contract for High-Cycle Fatigue Research

Microsoft-Amazon.com pressed for clean 'cloud'

Man killed by five-metre shark in S.Africa

Ocean Acidification Linked With Larval Oyster Failure in Hatcheries

Paradise lost, Tonga mired in poverty

Under climate change, winners and losers on the coral reef

Wen to promote China's Arctic ambition in Europe

CU-Boulder study shows Greenland may be slip-sliding away due to surface lake melt

No ice loss seen in major Himalayan glaciers: scientists

China seeking to expand role in Arctic

Scientists discover 'switch' in plants to create flowers

Using maths to feed the world

Hunt on for rice to resist salt, flooding

Salt levels in fast food vary significantly between countries

Ancient Greek tsunami bears warning signs: study

Tokyo mega-quake would kill over 9,000: simulation

Mexico volcano spouts large column of ash and steam

7.0-magnitude quake hits off Papua New Guinea: USGS

Diarra: launch of NASA scientist into Mali politics

G.Bissau army says coup bid over secret deal with Angola

ECOWAS council asks regional leaders to okay Mali force

Coup attempt in G.Bissau, attack on PM residence

New study explores what the evolution of names reveals about China

Excessive worrying may have co-evolved with intelligence

Fine-scale analysis of the human brain yields insight into its distinctive composition

Chinese-Brazilian superkid insists he's no 'genius'

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement