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 Ancient Chinese Sturgeon on Verge of Extinction

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GoddessMelody
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PostSubject: Ancient Chinese Sturgeon on Verge of Extinction   Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:28 pm

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The ancient Chinese sturgeon, a huge fish that has lived in China’s rivers for 140 million years, has stopped reproducing in the wild, China’s news service Xinhua reports. The fish, nicknamed the “aquatic panda,” is now at risk for extinction.

Researchers examining the water downstream from the Gezhou Dam in Central China found no new eggs laid by wild sturgeon, which usually swim from the sea to the river to lay their eggs in November. They also found no young sturgeon swimming along the Yangtze River to the sea in August, when they usually move downstream, according to Xinhua.

"It is the first time that we found no natural reproduction of the endangered sturgeons since records began 32 years ago when a dam was built," Wei Qiwei, a Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences principal investigator, told Xinhua.

In the 1980s, several thousand of the fish lived in the river, according to the BBC. But in the years since, China’s economy has grown and environmental hazards such as pollution have increased with it. China has also built many dams along the Yangtze to provide electricity, the BBC reports, including the largest dam in the world, erected in 2003.

Sturgeon are long-lived fish that take years to reach maturity and reproduce, according to The New York Times. Animals slow to reproduce are more vulnerable to population declines, as pollution, fishing, habitat destruction and other factors may kill off young members of the species before they have a chance to add to the population.

In the late 1970s, China began breeding sturgeon in captivity, releasing more than 9 million young fish into the Yangtze between 1983 and 2007, The Times reports. Still, there are barely 100 of the fish left in the wild, and this latest finding indicates that captive breeding may be the only thing keeping alive the population.

Sturgeon populations are also suffering from ship strikes and fishing nets, according to Discovery News. And the animals are not alone. China’s wildlife has suffered greatly from the country’s continuing growth and urbanization, Discovery News reports. The Chinese alligator, for example, declined by 97 percent from 1955 to 2010. And there are so few of the mysterious Yangtze river dolphins left that it’s unclear whether they’ve gone extinct — the last documented sighting of the dolphin was in 2002. The dolphin’s close cousin, the finless porpoise, is also under serious threat.
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epiod
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PostSubject: Re: Ancient Chinese Sturgeon on Verge of Extinction   Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:18 pm

How horrible!
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PostSubject: Re: Ancient Chinese Sturgeon on Verge of Extinction   Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:29 pm

China needs to do more for their environment and people....
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Ancient Chinese Sturgeon on Verge of Extinction

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