The Yangtze finless porpoise, commonly known as the “river dolphin”, is a unique freshwater porpoise subspecies that inhabits the Yangtze River and is currently classified as a second-level protected animal in China.
According to Fang Zhengqi, a member of the CPPCC Hunan Provincial Committee, there are now only 120 river dolphins left in Dongting Lake. This vanishing animal is now even rarer than the panda, meeting the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List criteria for “critically endangered”.
Fang stated the painful fact at the first session of the Eleventh CPPCC Hunan Provincial Committee, proposing to raise the conservation level for finless porpoises and establish a special conservation zone for their survival and breeding. He also suggested a responsibility system for the protection of these porpoises should be set up, and the fishing management and monitoring system be improved. A rescue mechanism, involving the efforts of fishermen, should be established, while at the same time efforts should be made to improve the public’s awareness and call for voluntary campaigns for the protection of river dolphins.
Translator: Liu Fen
Source: Hunan Official Web Portal