Currently, conservation measures appear to only exist for the Yangtze finless porpoise. Since the 1980s, conservation measures have been proposed and implemented for this Endangered subspecies (7). Preserving its natural habitat within the river has been the principal concern and so by 2008, six natural reserves had been created in areas of the river that contain high numbers of the porpoise (7) (8). In these reserves, the use of harmful fishing gear has been banned and these parts of the river are patrolled. However, these reserves are unable to eliminate all threats to the finless porpoise and thus ex-situ conservation has also been undertaken (7). The Baiji Dolphinarium was established in China in 1992, creating the opportunity to study endangered river animals in captivity. Yangtze finless porpoise have been reared here for several years, with one giving birth in 2005; the first freshwater cetacean to have ever been born in captivity (7). Another calf was born in 2008 (9). Another small group inhabit a 'semi-natural reserve', which was initially created for the baiji (10), comprising an oxbow lake and an 89 kilometre long section of river section (8). While such efforts should be commended, not all have had particularly promising outcomes and the future of the Yangtze finless porpoise remains uncertain (10). Hopefully the fate of the baiji will act as a poignant warning and lesson for the Yangtze finless porpoise (10), and that research is promptly undertaken on the other finless porpoise subspecies (2), to determine whether they may also be in need of rapid and intensive conservation efforts.
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