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Giant Mekong catfish becoming extinct

Environment: Long-time readers (yeah, right) may recall last year’s encounter with the pla beuk, the Mekong giant catfish. (hey, it made for a good story in the end!)

Well, it seems the pla beuk now listed as ‘critically endangered’. 2Bangkok points to this Yahoo! story:

More data, including Hogan’s, have shown that its numbers fell by at least 80 percent over the last 13 years, a ‘pretty massive decline’ that prompted the critically endangered classification in the group’s latest list released Nov. 18, Pollock said.

It seems recent dam-building and dredging may be to blame:

The river had mostly remained isolated due to wars and geography, but dams recently built along it in China and work on the upper Mekong River to clear navigation channels for large boats are threatening the catfish and other species, said Chainarong Sretthachau, director of the Southeast Asia Rivers Network.
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