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

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  5 reviews
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 Goddess of the Yangtze, as it was known, was also the lone representative of an entire and ...more
Paperback, 233 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published December 1st 2008)
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Mark
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 responsi ...more
Kayleigh
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 ...more
Linette
Apr 14, 2009 Linette rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dolphin lovers, conservation lovers, people interested in Chinese culture and interactions
This book is very informative, but very depressing. Read "The Aquatic 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 written.

P. 86
"There 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 Conservati
...more
Elentarri
Educational, well-written, but ultimately a sad story.
Kate
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.
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