The sound of "gone"

Stunning to think that an entire species can disappear forever without a sound.

Rare Chinese freshwater dolphin declared extinct
go here for the news article...

This article caught my attention as a homeschool mom. My girls are always reading about animals, and I questioned Meg as to this being the pink river dolphin she is fond of. I found out the answer is no, the Amazon river dolphin was the dolphin I was thinking of.

There are several simple homeschool lessons that can spring from this article.
First, research: what other dolphins live in rivers?

Geography:Look on a map and first find the Yangtze River, trace where it begins and ends. What countries does it pass through? Compare to location of the Amazon river-where another type of river dolphin lives.

Science: research on internet or at library, what are Baiji dolphins? What do they eat? Where do they live? How did conditions such as food chain, habitat encroachment or changes, pollution contribute or cause this species extinction.
Research dolphins in general, how they use sonar, different kinds of, where they are found.

Extra credit for older student: research an instance where human intervention brought back a species from the brink of extinction.

Art: paint or draw the baiji dolphin, label it with latin name

Creative Writing: Write a poem about the dolphin or your feelings about its disappearance.

From the Orange County Register-Thursday Dec. 14th, 2006-

..."The last full-fledged search, in 1997, yielded 13 confirmed sightings.
At least 20 to 25 baiji would now be needed to give the species a chance to survive.
...Even in the expedition's final days, members believed they would find a specimen, trolling a "hotspot" below the industrial city of Wuhan where Baiji were previously sighted, Pfuger (naturalist) said. "Hope dies last," he said.

for more on the Yangtze freshwater Dolphin Expedition 2006 go to