Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Ancient sturgeon in China's Yangtze 'nearly extinct'

15 September 2014 Last updated at 07:28


The Chinese sturgeon, thought to have existed for more than 140 million years, is now on the brink of extinction, according to local media.

Xinhua reported that no wild sturgeon reproduced naturally last year in the Yangtze river.

It was the first time since researchers began recording levels 32 years ago.

Chinese researches say the fall is due to rising levels of pollution in the Yangtze river and the construction of dozens of dams.

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences also found that no young sturgeons were found swimming along the Yangtze toward the sea during the period they usually do so.

A researcher told Xinhua that in the 1980s, at least several thousand sturgeon could be found in the river. It is estimated only around 100 fish remain.

"Without natural reproduction, the fish population cannot replenish itself. If there are no further steps taken to strengthen conservation, the wild sturgeon faces the danger of extinction," he said.

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