Newsroom

In the Media

China Launches Project to Relocate Endangered Finless Prpoises

 
Photo taken on March 27, 2015 shows a finless porpoise relocated into the Hewangmiao reserve of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province. On Friday, eight porpoises from Poyang Lake in east China's Jiangxi Province were placed in metal containers filled with water and took bus tours to two reserves in Hubei Province. There are only around 1,000 finless porpoises, a dolphin-like freshwater mammal with iconic "grins" on the face, left in the Yangtze River. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu) 
 

WUHAN, March 27 (Xinhua) -- A project began on Friday to relocate the Yangtze River's finless porpoises, as the critically endangered species' natural habitat is threatened by pollution, overfishing and river traffic.

There are only around 1,000 finless porpoises, a dolphin-like freshwater mammal with iconic "grins" on the face, in the Yangtze River and two lakes that are linked to the busy waterway.

On Friday, eight porpoises from Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province were placed in metal containers filled with water and took bus tours to two reserves in Hubei Province.

The relocation project was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and three provincial governments.

"Our plan is to move them into waters free of human activities, so they can flourish," said Zhao Yimin, an official with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Many porpoises have been found in recent years to be wounded or killed as a result of starvation, pollution-induced disease or clashes with ship propellers.

Experts worry that conservation efforts focusing on the Yangtze River will be too little too late, as the river faces increasing environmental and transportation pressure from the rapid economic development in the region.

"The Yangtze is full of dangers for the porpoises, and human activity is set to increase. The only way to prevent the species from dying out is to place them in new reserves," said Cao Wenxian with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The two reserves -- Hewangmiao and Tian'ezhou -- are located in old and traffic-free sections of the Yangtze River.

There are plans for more reserves to be established in the river's middle and lower reaches, said vice agricultural minister Yu Kangzhen.

 
Working staff put finless porpoises into the Hewangmiao reserve of the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province, March 27, 2015. On Friday, eight porpoises from Poyang Lake in east China's Jiangxi Province were placed in metal containers filled with water and took bus tours to two reserves in Hubei Province. There are only around 1,000 finless porpoises, a dolphin-like freshwater mammal with iconic "grins" on the face, left in the Yangtze River. (Xinhua/Zhou Mi)