Target: Minister of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China Zhou Shengxian
Goal: Urge the Chinese government to set measures in place for the protection of the severely endangered Yangtze Porpoise
Just six weeks ago the Yangtze River dolphin was declared “functionally extinct.” Now, a close cousin of the beloved mammal species is also on the verge of extinction. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) a subspecies of the Yangtze finless porpoise is on the decline as 32 have washed up dead in various lakes during the last two months.
As a report by the Environmental News Network notes, these porpoises are dying from the same causes that led to the Yangtze river dolphin to extinction, including illegal electrofishing, boating accidents, poisons, pollution and food shortages linked to lower water levels as a result of climate change. Disturbingly, autopsies show that at least two or more of the finless porpoises died as a direct result of electrofishing and run-ins with boat propellers.
In a press release by the WWF, the head of China’s Central Yangtze Program Lei Gang stated, “This tragedy shows that the Yangtze finless porpoise is facing enormous challenges.” Gang went on to say, “The porpoise deaths illustrate that without effective measures to fundamentally reverse the trend of ecological deterioration, the future of this incredible creature is far from certain. We have to act immediately.”
Current estimates place only 1,000 Yangtze porpoises left in the wild—the population continues to plummet drastically. Numerous other fish and porpoise species native to the Yangtze River are endangered or threatened. Regardless, a new controversial hydroelectric project called the Xiaonanhai Dam will still be implemented. Specialists are deeply concerned that this project will mean the certain extinction of the river’s endangered species.
Please sign below to tell the Chinese government that you care about the plight of the Yangtze finless porpoise. Urge the government to take immediate action, as failing to do so will result in the species’ extinction.
Dear Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian,
The Yangtze River is home to numerous endangered and threatened species that are native to China and can be found nowhere else on Earth.
Just a few months ago the Yangtze River porpoise was determined “fundamentally extinct.” As a result of ongoing pollution, food shortages, electrofishing, boating accidents and poisoning, another native species is on the brink of demise.
The Yangtze River finless porpoise is on the verge of extinction. There are only an estimated 1,000 of these adored creatures left in the river, and the numbers continue to plummet. So, it is regrettable and ominous that 32 finless porpoises have washed up along river and lake shorelines dead over the past two months.
There is consensus among experts that without immediate action the Yangtze River finless porpoise will be doomed. Please take appropriate measures towards conservation of this adored native species.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kenichi Nobusue via Flickr