GLAND, Switzerland: The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared the extinction of the Chinese paddlefish and wild Yangtze sturgeon.
The announcement last week caused a storm of comments on China's social media platforms, urging more environmental protection nationwide.
The world's remaining 26 sturgeon species are also at risk of extinction, according to the International Union's latest list of threatened species published on its website.
"The assessments are based on new calculations, which show their decline over the past three generations to be steeper than previously thought," the International Union said, adding that the reassessment had also confirmed the extinction of the Chinese Paddlefish.
Both species were once common in the Yangzte river basin, which has been plagued by heavy shipping traffic, overfishing and water pollution.
The topic was one of the most discussed on Chinese social media platform Weibo following the announcement.
The Chinese paddlefish was one of the world's largest fresh water fish species and could grow up to 7 meters in length. The International Union first declared it "critically endangered" in 1996.