Yangtze River now dead porpoise

After the disappearance of the baiji, the finless porpoise has become the only remaining freshwater porpoise in the Yangtze River, which is also an extremely endangered species. Its lovely body is known as the “smiling angel”.
In 2005, the first successful breeding of Yangtze finless porpoise was completed in the world. In June last year, the research team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences successfully bred a second artificial breeding porpoise.
On April 11, 2018, the Yangtze River finless porpoise was upgraded to an independent species, increasing the number of cetacean species from 89 to 90.
This also marks the addition of another endemic species in China, the Yangtze River finless porpoise only distributed in the Yangtze River in China, which was upgraded to an independent species on April 11, 2018. Commonly known as “Jiangzhu”, it is small in size, blunt and round in head, slightly raised in forehead; the snout is short and wide, the upper and lower jaws are almost the same length, and the snout is short and wide. The whole body is lead gray or gray white, the body length is generally about 1.2m, and the longest is up to 1.9m, which looks like a dolphin. The service life is about 20 years.
As a critically endangered species listed in the red list of the World Conservation Union in 2013, the Yangtze River finless porpoise now has only about 1012, which is less than the giant panda, and its annual decline rate is 5-10%. “If not well protected, it is estimated that in another 10-15 years, the Yangtze River finless porpoise will be extinct.”
On July 24, 2018, the Ministry of agriculture and rural areas announced that there are only about 1012 finless porpoises left in the Yangtze River.
Population status
The threat of Yangtze River finless porpoise mainly comes from the influence of human activities. The noise and propeller of the high-density and busy shipping vessels in the main stream of the Yangtze River become the biggest threat to the finless porpoise. Besides the impact of the excessive fishing and the large use of illegal fishing gear and the construction of water conservancy facilities polluted by water quality in Dongting Lake area, the large number of fixed nets used in the lake area occupy a large amount of water surface in the dry season. The construction of water conservancy facilities and water pollution and other human activities are still intensifying, which makes the Yangtze River finless porpoise face the same threat as the baiji, and the number of wild animals drops sharply. The number is only about 1200-1500, which is less than that of giant panda, and it is declining at the rate of 5% – 10% every year. Moreover, the extinction rate of porpoise around Dongting Lake is the fastest in the whole Yangtze River Basin.
When China took protective measures for Baiji, finless porpoise and other aquatic animals, the number of them rose. Dozens of them often appeared on the surface of the Yangtze River, swimming against the current and playing in the surging water. The black back sometimes leaped out of the water, sometimes dived into the water, ups and downs, turning flexible and spectacular. What’s more gratifying is that ships passing by actively make way for the Yangtze River finless porpoise, fearing that the finless porpoise will be frightened, which shows that people’s consciousness of protecting wild animals is gradually improving.