*NEWS*LAST CHANCE FOR CHINA’S DOLPHIN

  • mse-big-banner-new-03-17-2016-416716a-tonernews-web-banner-mse-212
  • Print
  • ces_web_banner_toner_news_902x1776
  • banner-01-26-17b
  • 05 02 2016 429716a-cig-clearchoice-banner-902x177
  • cartridgewebsite-com-big-banner-02-09-07-2016
  • 2toner1-2
  • ncc-banner-902-x-177-june-2017
  • clover-depot-intl-us-ca-email-signature-05-10-2017-902x1772
  • 4toner4
Share

*NEWS*LAST CHANCE FOR CHINA’S DOLPHIN

 user 2006-06-28 at 10:38:00 am Views: 73
  • #15885

    Last chance for China’s dolphin
    Zoologists
    have developed a plan to save the Yangtze River dolphin, probably the
    world’s most endangered mammal, from extinction.They hope to take some
    dolphins from the Yangtze and rear them in a nearby lake, protected
    from fishermen.The species is threatened by overfishing which removes
    its food, industrialisation, boat collisions, and through being caught
    in fishing nets.The most recent surveys found only 17 living
    individuals.Also known as the baiji and Chinese lake dolphin, Lipotes
    vexillifer is listed as Critically Endangered on the internationally
    recognised Red List of Threatened Species, which describes it as
    “probably the most endangered cetacean in the world”.
    Safe haven
    Late
    last year an international group of conservation zoologists held a
    workshop in San Diego aiming to develop a coherent rescue plan.That
    plan has now been published by a group led by Samuel Turvey from the
    Institute of Zoology, part of the Zoological Society of London
    (ZSL).”It’s been suggested for a long time that the only way to save
    them from dying out is to set up a closely monitored breeding
    population under semi-natural breeding conditions,” he told the BBC
    News website.”The plan is to set up a reserve in an oxbow lake 21km
    long which was part of the Yangtze until the 1970s.”
    There
    is massive human population pressure, industralisation, overfishing,
    boat collisions, bycatch, and various dams Samuel Turvey

    Tian-e-Zhou
    lake already houses another freshwater cetacean, the Yangtze finless
    porpoise, so conditions are likely to suit the baiji.There are fish in
    the lake to provide food for the dolphins; and although there may be
    some human fishing, it is likely to be on a much smaller scale than in
    the Yangtze itself.There, the pressure of China’s burgeoning population
    have brought stocks of some of the baiji’s prey species to one
    thousandth of their pre-industrial levels, Dr Turvey said.”There is
    massive human population pressure, industralisation, overfishing. Boat
    collisions have had a huge impact, then there’s bycatch, and various
    dams of which the Three Gorges is just the best known.”That was another
    nail in the coffin, but the species has been declining for decades;
    during the Great Leap Forward there was even a factory established to
    make bags out of dolphin skin.”ZSL and its collaborating organisations
    anticipate the endorsement of their plan, and are starting to look for
    funds.Costs could amount to between £200,000 and £300,000 ($365,000 and
    $545,000) for the first year’s operations.Boats are needed to catch the
    dolphins, helicopters to transfer them to Tian-e-Zhou. Holding pens
    need to be constructed, veterinary staff provided, and an inventory
    made of fish stocks.The rescue plan speaks of conducting five dolphin
    capture operations in the Yangtze within the next three years “…in
    order to establish a viable ex-situ breeding population of baiji at
    Tian-e-Zhou before the Yangtze population undergoes a further decline
    or becomes extinct”.The long-term plan would be to re-introduce them to
    the Yangtze, but only when the prospects of them thriving there have
    risen.