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  • Seminar on Successful Captive Breeding of Yangtze Finless Porpoise Held at IHB
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    The Seminar on Successful Captive Breeding of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise was held at IHB during Jan. 7 and 8, 2014. 


    The Seminar on Successful Captive Breeding of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise was hosted by the Research Group on Conservation Biology of Aquatic Animals of Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IHB) from 7th to 8th of January in 2014. Several distinguished professors as well as researchers from China, the United States and Britain who study and focus the fields such as captive breeding, captive feeding, first aid in field were invited to attend this symposium. 

    Prof. WANG Ding and Dr. HAO Yujiang respectively gave a welcome speech at the beginning of the seminar. They both introduced the intensive situation of the conservation of Yangtze finless porpoises and the feats they achieved in the domain of successful captive hosting and breeding as well as some problems they faced.  

    Later, different presentations from different celebrated guests were made one by one. Grant Abel, the curator of Hong Kong Ocean Park, shared his experience on feeding, breeding, and management of finless porpoises. Richard Chen who came from Taiwan Yehliu Ocean World showed his study on treatment to sick cetaceans by traditional Chinese medicine. Chief veterinary working in Hong Kong Ocean Park, Paolo Martelli, exhibited the optimal methods on nurse and care of cyophoric dolphins and postpartum calves. The key skills and applications of ultrasound on dolphins were performed by Brian Kot studying in Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The advanced artificial insemination (AI) was presented by Todd Robeck in marine mammal breeding research center of Sea word, San Diego. Other reports made by staffs or managers working on captive finless porpoises were also showed as invited presentations. 

    Following the presentations, enthusiastic discussions were taken among all the participants, while more valuable ideas were put out and refined. Moreover, the members gave some good suggestion after they visited the facility in the Dolphinarium of the institute.  

    Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis) is the unique freshwater subspecies of porpoise family that inhabits the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and some of its adjacent waters. Due to intensification of human activities, population of this smallest toothed cetacean has decreased dramatically to approximately 1000 and IUCN just upgraded the status of this riverine cetacean from "Endangered" to "Critically Endangered" in 2013. To protect the subspecies, captive breeding attempts started from 1996. A calf named Terry was born on 5 July 2005 in Baiji Dolphinarium, Wuhan, China, providing the first successful achievement of artificial breeding of captive Yangtze finless porpoise. Even that, lots of problems and bottlenecks in such kind of field still exist, that's why such kind of conference was held in order to exchange intelligences in captive breeding study, to follow current dynamics around the global and to find ways to solve our problems. 

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