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    LI Qiang, the vice mayor of Wuhan, gives remarks during his visit to IHB on September 4, 2020. (Credit: IHB)

    LI Qiang, the vice mayor of Wuhan, visited Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of Chinese Academy of Sciences on September 4 to inspect the measures implemented to help rehabilitate the habitat for the Yangtze finless porpoises in Wuhan.

    IHB researchers proposed two suggestions on the rehabilitation action.

    One is to join hands with local departments in forestry, agriculture, environment, and water resources, and with research institutions, public interest organizations, and media, to conduct investigation on the aquatic resources and water ecology of Wuhan section of the Yangtze River. Based on the data collected, a feasible plan can be formulated.

    The other is to accelerate the restoration of habitat and fish resources in Wuhan, and build the Baishazhou - the most upriver of Wuhan section of the Yangtze, and TianXingZhou – located at the heart of the Yangtze in Wuhan, as two core habitats for the Yangtze finless porpoises. More stringent measures with respect to shipping management shall be taken.

    The Yangtze finless porpoise is the only large flagship species living in the Yangtze; it is an important indicator of the ecology of the Yangtze. Feeding on fish, the porpoises have higher requirements for the habitat environment.

    The range-wide Yangtze freshwater dolphin expedition carried out in 2006, 2012, and 2017 observed no porpoises in the Wuhan section of the Yangtze. At the end of August 2020, a group of porpoises appeared in the water area near the Zhuankou Yangtze Bridge.

    It was so rare that millions of netizens watched the videos online and many media reported featured news.

    "It is of significance that the finless porpoises re-appear in the Wuhan section of the Yangtze," said the vice mayor, adding that a joint force shall be carried out to “strengthen the investigation and study of Yangtze Finless porpoise in the Wuhan section of the Yangtze.”

    IHB's acting director YIN Zhan welcomes the delegation led by the vice mayor of Wuhan, September 4, 2020. (Credit: IHB)

    The delegation led by the vice mayor of Wuhan visits the Museum of Hydrobiological Sciences, September 4, 2020. (Credit: IHB)

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