The crucially endangered species of the family Acipenseridae (Acipenser sinensis) is“nearly extinct,” as per the records tracked from 32 years.
In 2013, the wild Chinese sturgeon, often called seasoned travelers were not detected reproducing naturally in the polluted and crowded Yangtze river last year according to a report published by the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences.
The almost 140 million legendary species is largely dispersed over the main streams of the Yangtze River and coastal regions of Qiantang River, Minjiang River, and Pearl River.
Like its mammalian counterpart, China’s giant panda, the fish, weighs between 200 kg to 500 kg or 441 pounds to 1,100 pounds on average.
Nicknamed aquatic panda, the fish is listed under “China’s Class One Protected Animals.”
Wei Qiwei, a principal investigator at the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences said that the researchers discovered not a single egg laid by the wild sturgeons in a river water area downstream the Gezhou Dam in central China’s Hubei Province between Oct. 31 and Dec. 28 last year.
Only around 100 of the sturgeon remain, Wei said, compared with several thousand in the 1980s.
Their populations are primarily threatened by habitat loss, overfishing and reduced water quality, due to the dam construction. Pollution has been the most negative factor.
Three Gorges, the largest dam in the world, Yangtze River and several other dams constructed in recent years to increase the electrical supply of the country, led to environmental degradation and destroyed the habitats of a range of endangered species including Yangtze river dolphin and Chinese alligator.