In the Media

China Takes Steps to Save Remaining Endangered Finless Prpoises

The Yangtze finless porpoises are being rehomes to preserve the species ? WWF/LliKui

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. 

"Our plan is to move them into waters free of human activities, so they can flourish," says agriculture ministry official Zhao Yimin.  

"China's people and prosperity are linked to the fate of the finless porpoise,” says Karin Krchnak, director of WWF’s freshwater programme. 

“Like all river dolphins, they require healthy river ecosystems for survival, and so do the millions of people who live in the Yangtze River basin. 

"Solutions to what threatens the finless porpoise will also help solve China's food- and water-security issues."  (Wildlife Extra)