(Yicai Global) July 24 -- The sharp decline in the population of Yangtze River's endangered finless porpoises, or 'river pigs', has stopped as animal protection has begun to show results.
The population of the finless porpoise declined only 10 percent between 2012-2017, which is less than the 14 percent rate each year before that, Yu Kangzhen, vice minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said at a press conference today.
There are over 1,000 finless porpoises in the Yangtze River, of which about 445 are in the mainstream, Yu said, adding that the species remains critically endangered.
Human activities such as water pollution, engineering construction, and overfishing are diminishing the dolphin-like creature's habitat and causing its accidental deaths. In the first half of this year, the ministry discovered more than ten finless porpoises that died abnormally.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is working with national authorities to step up the measures for keeping the remaining water mammals alive. The public body has set up nature reserves along the Yangtze River and breeding protection groups, as well as carried out cell culture research.
Editor: Emmi Laine