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Extinction is Forever

Extinction is Forever

Author: Anne Trethewey

At the end of this lesson, students will

  1. be aware of the events concerning the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin.
  2. understand that extinction is usually connected in some way to human activity.
  3. Write an opinion that explains who they believe should be responsible for species protection.

The Yangtze River Dolphin is the most recent mammal to face extinction on planet Earth.  Using the attached video, newspaper clips and blog entries, explore the events that lead to this species extinction and the opposing opinions as to how we can perceive the extinction of a species.  After all, who's responsibility it is anyway?  Why should we care?

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Before watching the video below about the Yangtze River Dolphin and it's fight for survival, read through Part A of your worksheet.  Familiarise yourself with the questions that you will need to answer after you have finished watching the video.

Source: Written by Miss Trethewey

Extinction is Forever - Worksheet

Use this worksheet to complete the tasks contained within this lesson.


Source: Created by Miss Trethewey

Extinction - Does anyone care?

This video looks at the Yangtze River Dolphin, also know as the 'Baiji' and its eventual declaration as an extinct species.

Source: Compiled by Miss Trethewey using Google images

Task #1

Now that you have finished watching the video, answer all questions contained within Part A of your worksheet.  Be sure to write using complete sentences and appropriate grammar and punctuation.

Source: Written by Miss Trethewey

Task #2

In order to complete Part B of your worksheet, find and print out pictures of:

  1. the Yangtze River Dolphin, and
  2. a map which includes the Yangtze River and identifies the country in which it is found.


Source: Written by Miss Trethewey

Task #3

Below are some links to newspaper and journal entries written in 2006 and 2007 concerning the announcement of the Yangtze River Dolphin's extinction.

Browse through these articles and add any additional points of interest you discover in Part C of your worksheet.  There are numerous articles from the time available on the internet, feel free to use your web browser to explore this topic further.  Be sure to record your sources.,8599,1651819,00.html




Source: Written by Miss Trethewey

Task #4

This blog post and response were upload to Question Monkey in 2007 and 2008 respectively.  Unfortunately the original blog no longer exists; however, the posts below are direct quotes from the website taken at the time.


Does one other these post speak to you?


Source: Compiled by Miss Trethewey

Task #5


According to scientists, Species extinction is happening at an alarming rate.  Scientists claim that species are becoming extinct every day, by the hundreds. In the rainforest alone, it is thought that there are about 50,000 species that become extinct each year.

When news is publicised of an animal being declared threatened or extinct the first question posed by the media and the general public is usually: “Why should I care?”

What are your thoughts?


From the information you have collected and read throughout this lesson, write your own response to the statement presented above.


Response requirements:

Your written response should be:

  • between 50 and 100 words.
  • written using complete sentences and with appropriate grammar and punctuation.
  • reflective of your views and were possible try to provide evidence from what you have read to support your views.
  • published on your individual blog and be comment enabled.


Source: Written by Miss Trethewey


Use the attached Google Forms document to lodge any questions you may still have about the Yangtze River Dolphin and/or species extinction.

All students are expected to lodge at least one response to each question.

Source: Google Form created by Miss Trethewey

Final Checklist

To be prepared for our next in-class lesson, double check that you have completed the following:

  1. Watched the video on the Yangtze River Dolphin - 'Baiji'
  2. Answered each of the questions contained in Part A of your worksheet.
  3. Printed out a picture of the Yangtze River Dolphin and a map of the Yangtze River (including country of origin) and glued them into the specific locations in Part B or your worksheet.
  4. Explored the articles about the Yangtze River Dolphin's extinction using the web links provided.
  5. Recorded additional points of interest from these articles in Part C of your worksheet, make sure you cite your source.
  6. Read the blog post from Question Monkey and it's response.
  7. Written and publish your own blog response to the statement provided in Task #5.  Ensure you enable comments.
  8. Completed the Google form, providing at least one response to each question.

Source: Written by Miss Trethewey

Want to know more?

Additional information about the Yangtze River Dolphin


YouTube Video about the extinction of the Yangtze River Dolphin


YouTube Video about the Ten Most Recently Extinct Animals (includes the Yangtze River Dolphin)

Source: Compiled by Miss Trethewey