Paddlefish extinct in Yangtze River

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 3, 2020
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The paddlefish, a distinctive species in the eco-system of China's Yangtze River, was recently confirmed extinct. This is according to the latest edition of the Science of the Total Environment, an international multi-disciplinary journal, focusing on a broad range of research including that of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.

A post stamp featuring the Chinese paddlefish. [File photo]

The colossal freshwater creature, which had been listed as the country's A-grade species designated for protection, probably died out between 2005 and 2010 according to Zhang Hui, the first author of the paper and corresponding author Wei Qiwei who is also the principal scientist from the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences.

Following other species that have disappeared from the river such as the Yangtze River Dolphins and Hilsa Herrings, the extinction of the paddlefish was a great disappointment to the scientific community and beyond.

Its extinction was proposed to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) before the official announcement was made.

According to a report by, a Chinese online news media outlet, the endangered status of the Yangtze sturgeons and the Chinese sturgeons drew great concern at a convention organized by the IUCN in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, last September. These 2 species, like the paddlefish, are also part of the country's unique freshwater species.

The paddlefish which can allegedly weigh up to 5,000 kilograms when fully grown was listed among the world's top 10 largest freshwater fishes.

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