Population of Reserve’s Porpoise is on the Rise
The population of China’s finless porpoise at a reserve in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River has increased from 22 to around 50 in the past five years, the provincial aquatic products bureau of central China’s Hubei Province said yesterday.
A survey began on November 19 in the Tian’ezhou National Nature Reserve to examine the finless porpoises’ DNA, blood, appearance and their activities, said Zhang Zhenhua, deputy director of the reserve. The survey is scheduled to be conducted every five years.
As of yesterday, researchers have physically examined 49 porpoises and found more than 50 living in the reserve, seven of which are pregnant and nine newborn.
The increase of the population could be attributed to improvements in their environment, Zhang said.
There are only around 1,000 finless porpoise in the wild. They live in the Yangtze River and in two lakes fed by the busy waterway.
The porpoise population was about 1,040 in 2012, compared to over 1,800 in 2006, marking an annual decrease of nearly 14 percent, according to a 2012 survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Science and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
The Tian’ezhou reserve was established in 1992 for the protection of the porpoises, in a 21-kilometer traffic-free section of the river.
The reserve will now transfer four of the creatures to another reserve to help increase the population there. (Xinhua)