Population Status and Conservation of Baiji and the Yangtze Finless Porpoise

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 10:40 AM
Marriott Ballroom B (The Marriott Little Rock)
Ding Wang , Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Wuhan, China
Kexiong Wang , Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Wuhan, China
Yujiang Hao , Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Wuhan, China
Jingsong Zheng , Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Wuhan, China
The Yangtze River is home to two endemic cetaceans, the baiji or Yangtze River dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) and Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis). Both cetaceans suffered great abundance reduction and range contraction during the last three decades. Baiji was declared likely extinct in 2006 because an extensive survey conducted by an international scientist team throughout baiji’s geographical range failed to sight a single baiji. The abundance estimate of the Yangtze finless porpoise, based on data collected in the same survey was approximately 1,800 which indicated that over half of the population had been vanished between 1991 and 2006. The latest survey done at the end of 2012 indicated that there were only approximately 1,000 of them left in the whole distribution range. The main threats of both species faced include over- and illegal fishing, heavy boat traffic, sand dredging, water constructions and pollution. We provide an analysis of the effectiveness of our conservation methods over the last three decades regarding three measures (in situ, ex situ and captive breeding), and make suggestions for the future protection of Yangtze finless porpoise.