While the world painfully looks on the raging bushfires that are happening across Australia which claimed the lives of almost half a billion animals that are now on the risk of extinction, comes another sad news.
According to National Geographic
, the Chinese paddlefish has gone extinct.
The species, which is one of the largest fishes in the world, can grow up to 23 feet long and has been around for over 200 million years originating in the Yangtze River, China.
Scientists have concluded that the paddlefish is extinct thanks to our very own doing – overfishing and dam construction.
Through a paper published in the Science of the Total Environment
, scientists believe that “the probable extinction of Yangtze River Dolphin” is due to “various anthropogenic stressors that have resulted in continuous loss of biodiversity.”
The last sighting of the Chinese paddlefish or Psephurus gladius
was in 2003 and scientists estimated that it might have gone extinct between 2005 to 2010.
It’s “a reprehensible and an irreparable loss,” study leader Qiwei Wei of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, who’s been looking for the animal for decades told the nature publication.
In the 1970s, about 25 tonnes of Chinese paddlefish were caught on average each year.
But what really contributed in its decline was the Gezhouba Dam, built on the main stem of the Yangtze, which cut the paddlefish’s spawning grounds upstream.
What a sad day for science and the world. Mother Nature must be crying (and angry!) right now.
Let’s hope this will be a wake up call to help conserve other species that are critically endangered.