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Review on the ex-situ conservation of Yangtze Finless Porpoise

JIANG Wen-hua(Administrative Bureau,Tongling Freshwater Porpoise National Nature Reserve,Tongling 244161,China)  
The Yangtze population,or Yangtze finless porpoise(Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis)belongs to Neophocaena phocaenoides subspecies and it is the most endangered subspecies.At present,the population size of Yangtze finless porpoise is less than 1 400 and has become critically endangered.Human activities have imposed many disturtance on the Yangtze River.Since the environmental states of the Yangtze River will not be improved in the predictable future,ex-situ conservation has been considered to be the most promising measure to prevent this animal from extinction.At present,two semi-natural reserves(in Shishou,Hubei Province,and Tongling,Anhui Province) have been set up along the river to establish breeding populations of the Baiji and the porpoises.Additionally,a breeding group of porpoises is being established at the Baiji Dolphinarium at the Institute of Hydrobiology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Wuhan.To better understand the data on the ex-situ conservation of the Yangtze finless porpoise,the previous works and the present research status on the ex-situ conservation of the animal in recent 40 years are reviewed.Furthermore,some conservation countermeasures in ex-situ conservation are discussed in this paper.To hopefully protect the Yangtze finless porpoise,the author proposed : establishing more ex-situ reserves is fundamental;studying their reproductive biology is the main strategy and standardizing and coordinating the conservation practice is the effective approach.
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