Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze



8 thoughts on “Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin

  1. Mark Mark says:

    This was a really difficult one to rate not because of its writing which was emminently readable informative and clear but because of the content I think I felt here rather like I did when I saw ' Les Miserables ' on stage and couldn't bring myself to applaud the actors who played the Thenardiers because they though giving brilliant performances had been responsible for such horror Turvey comes across as an incredibly genuine and committed naturalists but here he has the unenviable responsibility of sounding the death knell for this extraordinary creature The incompetence laxity and indeed downright disingenuity of so many of the people involved in this debacle is deeply depressingBefore I began to read the book I had thought it was a responsibility largely to lay at the door of the Chinese Authorities with their blind trample towards mass Industrialization via the destruction of the ecology of this great River by deforestation badly planned and placed Dams and huge city growth with all its accompanying pollution and horror but Turvey very clearly in his subtitle places the blame suarely with the wider community We failed And this rings horribly true and overly familiar He mentions in passing the wholesale destruction of so many other creatures and the fact that many others 'teeter on the brink ' The uniue nature of the Yangtze river Dolphin it is found nowhere else in the world corresponds to its almost uniue death in that it was not killed for food it is renowned as inedible it was not wiped out as a predator but it rather died almost as collateral damage for modernity A symbol if you will of our inability or refusal to take seriously any sense of stewardship The international conservationist societies come into some hard criticism with there unwillingness to step into the breach in the battle for the dolphin for fear of being involved in a failure and this coming back to haunt them but it was that moral cowardice that not raising their heads above the parapet which makes me not hopeful for the huge number of species who are careering towards that stonewall The Yangtze River Dolphin didn't die off in some cataclysmic natural disaster it wasn't eradicated by some freak or unseen threat it appears to have died simply because to do anything beyond talking and having high profile meetings involved gumption and committment than the main players possessed This is a really painful book to read a really painful account to have to digest but if it spurs any of us on to do something about any conservation issue then that has to be a good thing


  2. Kate Kate says:

    A beautifully written and sad book It details the extinction of the Baiji though a thousand cuts economic progress bureaucracy and most of all apathy But while the story is sad the book doesn't wallow and is engaging and interesting to read


  3. Sarah Jesness Sarah Jesness says:

    In 2006 researchers declared the Yangtze River dolphin also known as the baiji functionally extinct the first cetacean species driven to extinction by human activity The story blew up in the media people were outraged They asked how could this happen? But if you were around to see those stories it was probably the first time you had ever heard of the species The media and conservation groups decrying the extinction had done little to prevent it not even bothering to spread awarenessIn Witness to Extinction Turvey describes the many factors leading up to the extinction of the baiji and explores and criticizes the inaction of conserving the species By the time serious efforts were made the baiji population was beyond help The baiji's disappearance demonstrates the importance of good PR and public pressure in conservation Popular species like Bengal tigers African elephants and giant pandas are at risk of extinction but lesser known animals are under greater threatReading about the decline of the baiji and the lack of efforts to help it I was disturbed by the amount of parallels it had with the plight of the vauita With the extinction of the baiji the vauita porpoise became the most endangered marine mammal species Like the baiji its likely extinction was forseen but little was done until the situation became dire Perhaps the vauita will avoid the baiji's fate but only time will tell Have any lessons been taken from the loss of the Yangtze River dolphin? Witness to Extinction is a must read for those interested in conservation


  4. Kayleigh Kayleigh says:

    I first learned of the existence of the Yangtze river dolphin from a book on cetaceans I checked out of the library when I was seven I don't remember the title or author but I do remember it had beautiful illustrations and was the source of my earliest knowledge of river dolphins The book's entry on the Yangtze dolphin or baiji particularly caught my interest because it listed them as being critically endangered with fewer than 300 individuals left I remember thinking Someday I want to help save these dolphinsThat was in the mid 1990s In spring of 2008 while working on an assignment for my ecology class I read that the baiji had been declared extinct and I wept I wondered how such a thing could have been allowed to happen in this day and age when there is so many conservation groups and seemingly so much support for endangered species Samuel Turvey's well researched concise book answered my uestions and many others concerning the extinction of the baiji and provides a wonderful example of what not to do with an endangered species


  5. Linette Linette says:

    This book is very informative but very depressing Read The Auatic Panda chapter to see what I mean The Chinese knew so little about these astonishing creatures that their captivity measures killed many of them Sad sad story Well writtenP 86There was a lot of intellectual and moral support I was told but there didn't seem to be much actual progress Apparently one of the major hold ups had been their inability to form a committee Even worse although representatives from Conservation International were apparently integral membersnobody seemed able to identify any major sources of funding to do anything active to save the species It's didn't sound very inspiring or positive Is this all the international community could muster for the world's most endangered mammal?


  6. Danny Deshong Danny Deshong says:

    Really enjoyed this book it was bittersweet I went into the book knowing the end result of the poor Yangtze river dolphin Very easy to read and author honest in his opinions I felt bad he did not get to go upon his dolphin survey before they were all wiped out We cannot stand by and let other animals suffer the same fate One of the best books about extinction I have read this far bravo


  7. Tanvi Tanvi says:

    Though a fairly depressing read the passion fueling this book is obvious as well as the research Tales like these have always interested me and the dry humor and sarcasm makes it interesting as well It's a sad tale that deserves a happy ending Unfortunately humans are not so idealistic


  8. Elentarri Elentarri says:

    Educational well written but ultimately a sad story


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Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin [Download] ➼ Witness to Extinction: How We Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin Author Samuel T. Turvey – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk 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 uniue The Extinction: How We Failed Kindle - tragic Extinction: How Kindle × recognition of the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin or baiji in became a major news story and sent shockwaves around the Witness to eBook ↠ world It made a romantic story for the baiji was a uniue and beautiful creature that features in many Chinese legends and folk tales The Goddess to Extinction: How ePUB ´ of the Yangtze as it was known was also the lone representative of an entire and ancient to Extinction: How We Failed PDF/EPUB or branch of the Tree of Life But perhaps the to Extinction: How We Failed PDF/EPUB or 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 international funds became availableSamuel Turvey here tells the story of the plight of the Yangtze River Dolphin from his uniue 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 once graced 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 countless other threatened species that will suffer from the same human mistakes and whose loss we shall not know until it is too late.