This species was found along 1,700km from the Three Gorges
to the mouth of the Yangtze River, China.
The only other cetacean inhabiting the same area as the Baiji
is the Finless Porpoise. It is easy to differenciate between
the two - the Finless Porpoise has no dorsal, beak or hump,
and is less shy than its cousin.
The Baiji has a very long, narrow beak, with abrupt forehead
and tiny eyes set high on the sides of the head. The triangular
dorsal fin has a blunt peak. They are blue-grey in colour,
fading to white below. Maximum length and weight are around
2.5m and 160kg respectively.
All of the Yangtze River, among sandbars and dikes. The river
is wide, open and slow moving.
Baiji feed upon a variety of fish.
Small groups of 3-7 are most common, with occasional groups
of 10 being observed. Baiji are wary of boats and difficult
The number of Baiji dolphins fell drastically from 6,000 in
the 1950s to 400 in 1984. Now only an estimated 5 animals
remain. The world's most endangered cetacean. Update 2008: Believed to now be extinct.
Baiji have to compete with humans for food within all their
habitat. Fishing gear alone causes over half of dolphin deaths,
with many others being caused by run-ins with boat propellers.
Draining of the river as part of a land reclaim project also
adds to the mortalities. A lone male, Qi Qi, is held in captivity,
but his wild cousins' future looks bleak.