The four Yangtze finless porpoises that were born in Tianezhou National Nature Reserve and were relocated a month ago appear to have adapted well to their new home in the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province, according to the Institute of Hydrobiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
It is the first time the species has been relocated to the Yangtze River in the province since China began ex-situ conservation of the species 30 years ago. Two of them were released into the Shishou section of the Yangtze River, and the other two were released into the Xinluo section of the Yangtze River. Since being released on April 25, they have been continuously monitored.
"From the monitoring results, we can see that the finless porpoises live in large groups in a large distribution area, rather than a single or small groups. Also, the distribution areas are all in the waters at the head and tail of the shoals, estuaries or sandbanks, which is consistent with the distribution of the finless porpoise in our previous investigations. So, we think that they've integrated into the natural population most likely and found suitable habitats," said Mei Zhigang, associate researcher at the institute.
The Yangtze finless porpoise, which is under first-class state protection, is an important indicator of the Yangtze River ecology. According to the 2022 comprehensive surveys on the species, there were 1,249 Yangtze finless porpoises in the Yangtze River, which marks a significant rebound from 2017 when the figure stood at only 1,012. (CGTN)
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