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News

New body to protect Yangtze finless porpoise

11 January 2012
A new non-government organisation has been set up to protect the Yangtze finless porpoise, reported Xinhua.

The Yangtze Finless Porpoise Conservation Society was founded in the city of Yueyang in Hunan province. Members of the society include scientists, journalists, educators and fishermen, said Xu Yaping, head of the organisation.

Wang Ding, vice director of the hydrobiology institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, warned that the finless porpoise may become extinct in just a decade if no action is taken to protect them. The academy estimates there are now only 1,000 Yangtze finless porpoises, down from 2,700 in 1991.

The new society will organise patrols, discourage fishermen from catching the rare mammal, give conservation lectures and rescue injured porpoises, said Xu. It will later set up a work station for volunteers and an observation station.

The Yangtze finless porpoise lives exclusively in the Yangtze River and its connecting Poyang and Dongting Lakes.

Worsening pollution, illegal fishing, increased shipping activity and the construction of big hydro projects are blamed for the reduced numbers.

     
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