Sad and mad !

Dear Friends

So, the Yangtze River Dolphin is no more – this is the finding of a six-week search by scientists in China who returned to say they could find no evidence of its existence.  This makes me sad and mad.  Sad because this unique species, distinctly different from marine dolphins, has gone and mad because it was humans that brought about its demise.  There were no Yangtze River Dolphins in zoos and I do not think it would have made the slightest difference had there been as the captive breeding of such creatures is extremely difficult.   

So, what can be done?  For the species, nothing – but for other species that are critically threatened by human activity, whether through hunting, poaching, loss of habitat, pollution or whatever, we can redouble our efforts to make sure that the Yangtze River Dolphin is not the first in a long list of species to disappear but is the last. 

And while I think of it, latest news from India where the Government has now recognised that previous estimates for wild tigers of between 2,500 – 3,000 animals, are likely to be drastically wrong and the real figure may be between 1,200 and 1,400, simply serves to alert each and everyone of us to the fact that if we want there to be wild tigers -  not stripy specimens in zoos and circuses – then again we have to do more.  The natural world is dying of death by 1000 cuts.  Human indifference, lack of commitment and lack of resources all play a part – do you know that burying 2kms of overhead power cable costs £20m, to build 1km of cycle path costs £0.5m or to bury the A303 so that it does not rumble past
Stonehenge would cost £0.5 billion?  Quite simply we have to start making difficult and different decisions about where we spend our money.  

Now I am feeling mad again! 

Blogging off 


One Response to “Sad and mad !”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Hi Will,

    Reading your blog about there being no evidence of the existence of Yangtze River Dolphins has made me “sad and mad” too.

    Sadly it isn’t until terrible news like this comes out that we stop and think about the impact we are having on the planet as a whole.

    You’ve mentioned that we need to redouble our efforts; that comment has hit home with this born free member.