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Mass young endangered sturgeon spotted in Yangtze

Mass young endangered sturgeon spotted in Yangtze

Source: Xinhua 09/24/2015 10:09:46

Chinese researchers are monitoring a large amount of juvenile Chinese sturgeon, a critically endangered fish that has lived through the dinosaur age, at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

The number of young fish spotted at the river mouth in Shanghai during spring and summer reached the highest in more than 10 years, said researchers with the Chinese Sturgeon Research Institute.

An office supervising fishery of the Yangtze River Basin under the Ministry of Agriculture is leading a group of scientific and environmental protection workers in Hubei, Jiangsu and Shanghai regions along the river to determine the birthplace of the monitored sturgeon.

For more than 20 years, researchers conducted yearly monitoring operations in autumn and winter on a downstream section of Hubei’s Gezhou Dam, a major spawning ground for Chinese sturgeon. However, they failed to spot the reproduction of the fish at the site in 2013 and 2014.

Last year, no juvenile sturgeon were monitored at the Yangtze River mouth, while the first of this year was detected in mid-April, about a month earlier than those spotted in previous years.

Nicknamed “aquatic pandas”, the species is listed as a wild creature under state protection.

Due to water projects, busy traffic and pollution, the number of wild Chinese sturgeon which migrate to Gezhou Dam for reproduction, has fallen from about 1,000 in 1982 to about 50, according to researchers’ estimates.


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