Friday, 6 January 2012

Been hard for the finless porpoise

Scientists examine a freshwater dolphin in the Yangtze River Nature Reserve in Shishou, Hubei Province. The species is endangered because of the deteriorating water quality, illegal fishing and dredging excessive. Despite the growing public awareness to the rescue of the river dolphin, the life of the Yangtze finless porpoises has not improved in 2011. The population of this endangered species has declined by 6.8% due to the deteriorating water quality, illegal fishing and dredging of the Yangtze excessive according to scientists and conservationists . The river dolphins have been a difficult, as their main habitat, the middle and lower Yangtze River, has suffered the worst drought in decades. This had the effect of extremely low water levels and caused a shortage of food for finless porpoises who eat mostly small fish. Earlier this month, scientists will conduct an annual survey to determine whether the drought has further reduced the number of these animals. In 2011, environmentalists have succeeded by a series of campaigns to draw public attention to this species once common in the Yangtze. They fear that with less than 1800 individuals, the finless porpoise repeat the fate of Baiji, the dolphin-old a million years of the Yangtze River has been declared extinct in 2006. Jiang Yong, deputy director of the WWF office in Changsha, said that over 500,000 people participated in an online campaign to help save the finless porpoises. Her organization surveyed more than 3,300 people in 96 communities along the middle and lower Yangtze River, and about 54% indicated they would like to help protect the animal in danger. However, no major breakthrough has been achieved by increasing the level of conservation of dolphins in 2011. Although the number of finless porpoises is already lower than the giant panda, the only species belongs to the category II conservation in China. Class I is the highest level. The Ministry of Agriculture is working to increase the level of conservation, and some legislators are also involved in efforts, said Jiang. During the past year, local governments have begun to more strictly regulate dredging in some sections of the Yangtze, said Jiang. Although at first it had targeted security issues, the campaign has brought some relief to finless porpoises making sure they are not injured or disturbed by dredging the river bed.

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