The long goodbye: Study declares ancient Chinese paddlefish extinct

  • The Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius) was last recorded by researchers in 2003. Subsequent local surveys failed to spot any individual.
  • A new study based on a comprehensive large-scale survey in 2017 and 2018 and statistical analysis of previous records suggest that the species most likely went functionally extinct by 1993 and completely extinct by 2010.
  • There’s always the possibility that individuals of a species declared extinct still survive somewhere, but in the case of the Chinese paddlefish that’s highly unlikely, researchers say.
  • The factors that contributed to the paddlefish’s extinction, including the construction of a dam that split its population, also threaten other species unique to the Yangtze River basin.


Last updated on 09 January 2020

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