- Issue: Spring 2016
Only about 1,000 Yangtze finless porpoises remain in the wild. The animals live exclusively in the main stream of the Yangtze River and two adjacent lakes—habitats that are severely degraded by unsustainable fishing, shipping traffic, sand mining, pollution, and climate change. In 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, supported by WWF and the Chinese Institute of Hydrobiology, translocated eight of the animals from a healthy population in Poyang Lake to more remote oxbow lakes. These oxbows are similar to the porpoise’s natural habitat, but better protected; they may be crucial to saving the species in the long run.