Critically endangered Yangtze sturgeons can be reproduced artificially, according to a recent announcement by China Three Gorges Corporation (CTG).
It was another breakthrough for the company in the protection of rare fish in the Yangtze River after it realized artificial reproduction of the Chinese sturgeon in 2009.
Yangtze sturgeons mainly inhabit the river's upstream area as well as some of its tributary.
As a kind of freshwater fish that can only be found in China, they are listed among the first-level of national protected wild animal species in the country.
The natural population of the Yangtze sturgeons shrunk dramatically after the late 20th century and they stopped natural reproduction around 2000.
In 2010, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) approved the species as GR-level protected.
It is also one of the flagship protected species in the Yangtze River and its protection is a key part of the restoration of the river's ecological system.
In May 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs released a plan of action to save the Yangtze sturgeons. A mass artificial reproduction and releasing program was implemented to grow its population.
The CTG has researched artificial reproduction of the Yangtze sturgeons since 2011 and has established an artificial breeding mode which can promote the maturation of the fish's development through optimizing nutrition supply and adjusting water temperature.
In April 2019, more than 50,000 fish were hatched at CTG's Chinese sturgeon research center.
In addition to the Yangtze sturgeon, the research center has also made progress in artificial reproduction of the Chinese sturgeon, another species listed among critically endangered river fish.
CTG has adhered to green hydropower generation under the principle of harmony between energy development and ecological efficiency.
The company had invested technical forces and funds in rare fish protection in the Yangtze River and has achieved breakthroughs in key techniques of artificial reproduction of several types of rare fish such as the Chinese sturgeon, mullets and so on.
The success of the artificial reproduction of the Chinese sturgeons was a milestone in China's ex-situ conservation of endangered animals and sets an example for future rare fish protection.
CTG's Chinese sturgeon research center recently succeeded in artificially reproducing the critically endangered Yangtze sturgeons. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
(Executive editor: Li Shuling)