Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Iniidae > Lipotes > Lipotes vexillifer

Lipotes vexillifer (Yangtze River Dolphin; White-flag Dolphin; Baiji; Chinese river dolphin)

Wikipedia Abstract

The baiji (Chinese: 白鱀豚; pinyin: , Lipotes vexillifer, Lipotes meaning "left behind", vexillifer "flag bearer") is a functionally extinct species of freshwater dolphin formerly found only in the Yangtze River in China. Nicknamed "Goddess of the Yangtze" (simplified Chinese: 长江女神; traditional Chinese: 長江女神; pinyin: Cháng Jiāng nǚshén) in China, the dolphin is also called Chinese river dolphin, Yangtze River dolphin, whitefin dolphin and Yangtze dolphin. It was regarded as the goddess of protection by local fishermen and boatmen in China (Zhou, 1991). It is not to be confused with the Chinese white dolphin or the finless porpoise.
View Wikipedia Record: Lipotes vexillifer

Endangered Species

Status: Critically Endangered
View IUCN Record: Lipotes vexillifer

EDGE Analysis

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 world’s 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) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 39.11
EDGE Score: 6.46
View EDGE Record: Lipotes vexillifer


Gestation [2]  10 months 19 days
Litter Size [2]  1
Litters / Year [2]  1
Maximum Longevity [2]  24 years
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams
Adult Weight [2]  184.087 lbs (83.50 kg)
Diet [3]  Piscivore
Diet - Fish [3]  100 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [2]  8 years

Range Map


Southern Asia;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, 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
2de 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
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License