Vale the baiji

The International Year of the Dolphin begins on a poignant note. Last month, the Yangtze Freshwater Dolphin - the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) - was declared to be almost certainly extinct.

A victim of the long-term poisoning of the Yangtze River.

The baiji is the first species of cetacean to have become extinct in modern times, and it's the first large mammal to disappear as the direct result of man's pillage of the Earth's natural resources.