Baiji, the Only Fresh Water Dowager
The Baiji dolphins or Lipotes vexillifer which means Lipotes means "lagging behind" and the vexillifer "flag carrier" are freshwater dolphins that can only be found in the Yangtze River, China. This dolphin is called the "Goddess Yangtze" in China. In addition, these dolphins are also called the Chinese River Dolphins, Yangtze River Dolphins, Beiji, White Fin dolphins and Yangtze Dolphins. The IUCN Red List (2007 International Union for Conservation of Nature) classifies Baiji as a critical species, and the possibility of this species is extinct.
Baiji's population declined drastically over the decades due to the industrialization of China and the use of rivers for fishing, transportation and hydroelectrics. Baiji's last vision was confirmed in 2004, with unconfirmed eyesight in August 2007. Business was done to save the species, but the 2006 Yangtze freshwater dolphin expedition failed to find the Baiji in this river.
Organizers claim Baiji "functionally extinct" that would make it as the first extinct water mammal species to extinct since the extinction of the Japanese Sea Lion and the Caribbean Dog of the 1950s Dogs. Its extinction will also be the first extinction of the Cetacean species.