The level of awareness of the baiji's plight in China is extraordinary. It is no a Protected Animal of the First Order, along with the giant panda and other critically threatened species in China. The government has taken measures to educate local people through newspapaer and magazine articles, a film, baiji postage stamps, and wide dissemination of the regulations for their protection.
More importantly, at various points along the Yangtze, there are Baiji Conservation Associations. These are run by local volunteers to promote baiji conservation, particularly among the fishermen, and to raise commercial sponsorship for baiji conservation projects.
The first of these Associations was set up at Tongling, a town with a population of 250,000 on the lower reaches of the yangtze. Established in 1984, the TBCA began by persuading the local brewery to use the baiji as its trademark. This beer, which is now sold throughout China, has a picture of the dolphin on its label and its Latin name, Lipotes vexillifer, on the cap. Many other companies have followed suit and Tongling now has a baiji hotel, a baiji department store, baiji shoes, baiji fertilizer, a baiji computerized weighing scale and even lipotes toilet paper. Not surprisingly, the baiji is a household name in the area and its conservation problems are common knowledge.
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