Journals Higher Education



Published: 13 August 2009

256 Pages | 4pp black and white plate section


ISBN: 9780199549481

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Witness to Extinction

How we Failed to Save the Yangtze River Dolphin

Samuel Turvey

  • The extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin or baiji, made famous by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine in Last Chance to See, made headline news around the world - the shocking realization that we had let such a beautiful animal disappear, despite the supposed efforts of big conservation organizations worldwide
  • Compelling, heartfelt eyewitness account by a young naturalist battling against the failures and bureaucracy of large organizations
  • Describes the natural history of the dolphin, and the legends surrounding it on the banks of the Yangtze
  • A tale, too, of how massive scale industrialization in China is devastating the environment and its extraordinary wildlife
  • Turvey played a key role in the final stages to identify whether the baiji was gone, and was the lead author in the research paper that confirmed its extinction
  • Gives examples of successful conservation and looks forward: we can learn from this and save other precious creatures from oblivion - a plea from the heart for action

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