According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, “The annual discharge of sewage and industrial waste in the [Yangtze River] has reached about 25 billion tons, which is 42% of the country’s total sewage discharge, and 45% of its total industrial discharge.”
The result of such pollution? Undrinkable water. Possible riverbank collapses. Landslides. And the extinction of a mammal native to the Yangtze: the Yangtze finless porpoise.
Kent Truog/Via pbs.org
As you’ll see, and hear, in the following video from 2013, experts say that, unless drastic measures are taken immediately, the Yangtze finless porpoise will be extinct in ten years or less.
Recently, the Chinese government has stepped up to the plate and has begun relocating the porpoises from the Yangtze River to conservation areas. Lei Gang, senior director of WWF’s Yangtze program, went on to say: “The survival of this new population of Yangtze finless porpoises depends on the support and involvement of local communities.”
Li Kui/Via pbs.org