China’s finless porpoises are going extinct


China’s got wayyyyyyy too many pigs in its rivers (16,000 dead pigs in the Huangpu at last count!), but it’s dangerously short on “river pigs,” the colloquial name for the finless porpoise. (My first thought was “they’re finless, of course they’re going extinct; how do they MOVE?” but the name comes from their lack of dorsal fin. They do have flippers.) In over 2,000 miles of the Yangtze river, the World Wildlife Fund found only 380 of these smiley critters. That’s 50 percent less than there were six years ago.

The WWF estimates that this means there are about 1,000 finless porpoises in the wild — fewer, in other words, than the wild population of giant pandas, which clocks in at around 1,600. They give the river pigs 15 years to extinction unless we do something.

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