> Lipotes vexillifer
Lipotes vexillifer (Yangtze River Dolphin; White-flag Dolphin; Baiji; Chinese river dolphin)
The baiji (Lipotes vexillifer, Lipotes meaning "left behind", vexillifer "flag bearer") was a freshwater dolphin found only in the Yangtze River in China. Nicknamed "Goddess of the Yangtze" in China, the dolphin is also called Chinese river dolphin, Yangtze River dolphin, whitefin dolphin and Yangtze dolphin. It is not to be confused with the Chinese white dolphin.
According to Chinese legend, this graceful freshwater dolphin is the reincarnation of a drowned princess. It has been declared a national treasure of the highest order, but the Yangtze River is today one of the worlds busiest and most degraded waterways, and for over two decades conservationists have recommended that the species can only be protected by establishing an ex situ breeding population in an oxbow lake away from the main Yangtze channel. However, despite extensive debate by international conservation organisations, little active work has ever been carried out to protect the rapidly declining population. A recent range-wide survey was unable to find any surviving baiji left in the river, and the species in now probably extinct.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0)
Unique & Vulnerable (100)
|Adult Weight  ||184.09 lbs (83.50 kg)|
|Female Maturity  ||8 years|
|Diet  ||Carnivore|
|Gestation  ||10 months 19 days|
|Litter Size  ||1|
|Litters / Year  ||1|
|Maximum Longevity  ||24 years|
|Water Biome  ||Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams|
Species recognized by Gardner A.L, 2008-12-05, ITIS Global: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System in
Endangered Status provided by IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2 <www.iucnredlist.org
> Downloaded on 11 April 2013.
Attributes / relations provided by ♦ 1
Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at animaldiversity.org ♦ 2
de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
Range map provided by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Conservation International & NatureServe.