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World's First Captive-bred Finless Porpoise Lives over 10 Years

Aug 27, 2015     Email"> PrintText Size

The world's first finless porpoise bred in captivity became ten years old last month, according to the Institute of Hydrobiology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS) on Wednesday.

Tao Tao is a male captive-bred finless porpoise. The species is critically endangered.

"We hope Tao Tao can reproduce, though it is difficult, as our captive breeding techniques for the species are still in their infancy," said Wang Kexiong, a porpoise researcher at the institute.

No other finless porpoises bred in captivity have lived as long as Tao Tao, Wang said.

There are only around 1,000 finless porpoises in the wild, they live in the Yangtze River and two lakes fed by the busy waterway.

The porpoise population was about 1,040 in 2012, compared to over 1,800 in 2006, a decrease of nearly 14 percent every year, according to a survey in 2012 by the Ministry of Agriculture, the CAS and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Wang Ding, another porpoise researcher from the institute, warned the species could die out ten years later if nothing is done.

China has established the Hewangmiao and Tian'ezhou nature reserves for the porpoises, in traffic-free sections of the Yangtze River. There are plans for more reserves in the river's middle and lower reaches for further protection of the endangered species. (Xinhua)

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(Editor: CHEN Na)

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WANG Ding

Institute of Hydrobiology

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E-mail: wangd@ihb.ac.cn

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