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Finless Porpoises Relocated for Breeding

Mar 29, 2017     Email"> PrintText Size

An action plan was launched in central China last Saturday to relocate the Yangtze River's black finless porpoises, an extremely endangered species.

Eight porpoises, four male and four female, from Poyang Lake were placed in metal containers filled with water and transported to conservation areas for the species at Jichengyuan in Hunan Province and Hewangmiao and Tian'ezhou in Hubei Province.

It's hoped that the relocated porpoises will breed and thus supplement the number of the rare species in the conservation areas.

Black finless porpoises are a dolphin-like freshwater mammal with iconic "grins" on the faces, found in the Yangtze River and the lakes of Poyang and Dongting linked to the busy Yangtze waterway.

Their number has been declining every year as their natural habitat is threatened by water pollution, overfishing and river traffic. Currently there are only around 1,000 black finless porpoises in China, and half of them are in Poyang Lake where the water quality is relatively good and the environment is relatively stable, but far from perfect.

Saturday's action is the first step in a continuous finless porpoise relocation project this year jointly launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei provincial governments. The eight finless porpoises were carefully selected from those in Poyang Lake after a period of comprehensive physical assessment.

Since the beginning of this year, a total of 32 finless porpoises have been saved from the Yangtze River and taken to the conservation areas in the three provinces.

Black finless porpoises are under the national-level protection and have been included in the nearly-extinct species list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). (China.org)

A finless porpoise from Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province is placed in a metal container filled with water for removal to a conservation area at Jichengyuan in Hunan Province on March 25, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Two finless porpoises from Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province are placed in metal containers filled with water for transportation to a conservation area at Jichengyuan in Hunan Province on March 25, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

A finless porpoise from Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province is placed in a metal container filled with water for removal to a conservation area at Jichengyuan in Hunan Province on March 25, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

A finless porpoise from Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province is placed in a metal container filled with water for removal to a conservation area at Jichengyuan in Hunan Province on March 25, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

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(Editor: CHEN Na)

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