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Weird News Giant Chinese paddlefish dubbed the 'Panda of the Yangtze River' is declared extinct due to overfishing and habitat loss

17:16  06 january  2020
17:16  06 january  2020 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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China has declared its giant paddlefish , dubbed ' the Panda There were only 210 sightings of ' the giant panda of the rivers ' between 1981 and January 2003, when the last 5. Chinese Paddlefish , 10 feet Yangtze River . Source: largest.org. These include the Chinese Alligator, the Finless Porpoise

Due to overfishing and habitat loss , the Chinese paddlefish is considered critically endangered by the IUCN.[1] The schooling young were easily caught by traditional fishing methods. Is there evidence that the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) still survives in the upper Yangtze River ?

a fish swimming under water: The giant Chinese paddlefish was said to be up to 22 feet in length but was on average around 10 feet long - one of the biggest freshwater fish in the world © Provided by Daily Mail The giant Chinese paddlefish was said to be up to 22 feet in length but was on average around 10 feet long - one of the biggest freshwater fish in the world

China has declared its giant paddlefish, dubbed "the Panda of the Yangtze River" for its enormous size, extinct following decades of overfishing. 

According to scientists at the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute, Psephurus gladius, which can grow to 22 feet in length, went extinct between 2005 and 2010.

a group of fish in the water: The fish, which was around 10 feet long on average, was native to the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, along with a diverse selection of megafauna – large or giant animals © Provided by Daily Mail The fish, which was around 10 feet long on average, was native to the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, along with a diverse selection of megafauna – large or giant animals

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Overfishing and habitat destruction in the economically-thriving Yangtze drainage caused a rapid decline in its numbers. The loss of the Chinese paddlefish marks the third extinction on the Yangtze in recent decades: the Yangtze River dolphin was declared extinct in 2006 and the reeves

The Chinese paddlefish had been on the critically endangered list since 1996. Photo: Handout. Dam-building, overfishing , busy water traffic and pollution have taken a toll on the river , where a 10-year fishing ban took effect on Wednesday.

Extinction has been caused by overfishing since the 1970s and humans destroying their habitat. Pollution and urbanisation also played a role in their demise. 

There were only 210 sightings of 'the giant panda of the rivers' between 1981 and January 2003, when the last live specimen was found and released back into the river.

'We estimated the timing of extinction to be by 2005, and no later than by 2010,' the researchers say in Science of the Total Environment.

Related Slideshow: Species that have gone extinct in our lifetime (Provided by Photo Services)


The fish, which was around 10 feet long on average, was native to the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, along with a diverse selection of megafauna – large or giant animals. 

THE WORLD'S LARGEST FRESHWATER FISH 

1. Beluga Sturgeon: 20-24 feet, Caspian and Black Sea

2. White Sturgeon, 20 feet, North America

3. Giant Freshwater Stingray, 16.4 feet, Thailand

4. Wels Catfish 16 feet, Central and Eastern Europe

5. Chinese Paddlefish, 10 feet Yangtze River 

These include the Chinese Alligator, the Finless Porpoise and the Yangtze Sturgeon – two of which are classified as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, while the porpoise is described as vulnerable. 

The team conducted a basin-wide survey between 2017 and 2018 and of the 332 fish species found, did not find a single live specimen of Chinese paddlefish.

a close up of a reptile: The Chinese Alligator is also native to the Yangtze River and is classified as critically endangered © Provided by Daily Mail The Chinese Alligator is also native to the Yangtze River and is classified as critically endangered

The team reported another 140 historically reported fish species that were not found, most of which considered highly endangered.

The ecosystem has been affected by human activity resulting in a loss of biodiversity, the result of which may also be the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin – which was declared extinct but later reportedly sighted in 2016. 

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Giant Chinese paddlefish dubbed the ' Panda of the Yangtze River ' is declared extinct due to overfishing and Hubble 'hidden gems': ESA releases a commemorative calendar showcasing 12 lesser-known images captured by Even Nobel Prize winners can make mistakes!

Psephurus gladius was previously listed as 'critically endangered, possibly extinct' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and has already been 'functionally extinct' since 1993 – meaning the species no longer plays an active role in its ecosystem as it is unable to produce.

It is likely that lack of reproduction was among the major causes of extinction, but a population decline generally since the late 1970s has been a result of overfishing and habitat fragmentation.

While the last living Chinese paddlefish specimen was observed in 2003, another was illegally fished and died with six hooks in its body four years later.

Another contributor has been the construction of the Gezhouba Dam in 1981, which blocked the creature's migration route.

a close up of text on a white background: There were only 210 sightings of 'the giant panda of the rivers' between 1981 and January 2003, when the last live specimen was found and released back into the river © Provided by Daily Mail There were only 210 sightings of 'the giant panda of the rivers' between 1981 and January 2003, when the last live specimen was found and released back into the river

Conserved living tissues of an extinct species can be resurrected using cloning or genome editing – a process known as 'de-extinction' – but no living tissue of Psephurus gladius has been conserved.

Therefore, the species should be considered extinct on the IUCN Red List, the researchers say, which is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species

Psephurus gladius was one of only two surviving members of a population that was widespread about 34-75 million years ago, the team says, and conservation efforts on the river are urgently needed.


Baby boom: Lemur pups and flamingo chicks help draw crowds to zoo .
The baby boom has continued at Dublin Zoo this year where a range of endangered animals were welcomed. Over the past 12 months, two western lowland gorilla babies, two Rothschild's giraffe calves, three California sea lion pups, two red-ruffed lemur pups and six Chilean flamingo chicks all proved a major draw for visitors at the Phoenix Park.

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