Monday, 30 March 2015

China takes steps to save remaining endangered finless porpoises

The critically endangered Yangtze finless porpoise has received a lifeline, reports the WWF.

The Chinese government has recently executed a plan to move a small group of the species to a new home.

Four finless porpoises were moved from Poyang Lake in Jianxi province to holding pens in the neighbouring Hubei province in central China on 21 March, under a strategy developed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

They were released into a secure new habitat in the He-wang-miao/Jicheng-yuan oxbow on 27 March.

Four other individuals will be moved to Tian-e-zhou oxbow to boost the genetic diversity of the existing population in that location.

These eight finless porpoises—part of an estimated population of just over 1,000—were captured earlier this month using the safe, scientifically approved “acoustic drive netted method".

The Yangtze finless porpoise numbers are now so low there are fewer of them than the country's iconic giant pandas. Their decline has been blamed on pollution, over-fishing and heavy beat traffic in their ancestral river home.

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