In recent times, this species has been endemic to the Yangtze River of China. Some individuals were seen in the Fuchun River, immediately south of the Yangtze, during the great flood of 1955 but disappeared from that area after construction of a hydropower station in 1957 (Zhou 2002). Baiji also occurred historically in Dongting and Poyang Lakes, both appended water bodies of the Yangtze (Zhou et al. 1977, Chen et al. 1980), but apparently do so no longer (Yang et al. 2000, Zhang et al. 2003). Their upstream limit in the Yangtze changed from the Three Gorges area approximately 35 km above Gezhouba Dam near Yichang in the 1940s to approximately 170 km below the dam site near Jingzhou (formerly called Shashi) in the 1990s (Zhou 2002, Zhang et al. 2003). These dolphins were once observed as far downstream as the river mouth near Shanghai (Zhou and Li 1989). No dolphins were found downstream of Jiangyin, located 256 km upstream of the mouth, during surveys in 1997-99 (Zhang et al. 2003). (See Figure 1 in the attached PDF showing the Yangtze River and the locations used to describe the distribution of the baiji).
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