Shanghai authorities announced the finding of a wild baby Chinese sturgeon on Monday, after experts warned the species faces extinction.
The Shanghai Yangtze Estuary Chinese Sturgeon Conservation Administration said that they found the native sturgeon fry near Sanjia port, Shanghai, on Monday, the first since 2016, news site thepaper.cn reported.
This discovery means that wild sturgeons born vlast autumn are gradually arriving in the estuary of the Yangtze River, said the administration, adding that they have already enhanced their supervision and initiated an emergency rescue mechanism, in order to track movements of these fish.
It added that the species' breeding activity has been disrupted in recent years.
From 2013 to 2015, no breeding activity was found in the only known place that the species breeds, which experts feared was a sign of extinction, said thepaper.cn.
About 500 captive-bred Chinese sturgeons were released Saturday into a section of the Yangtze River in Central China's Hubei Province to increase the wild population of the rare species. This is the 59th release by the Chinese Sturgeon Research Institute of the China Three Gorges Corporation, which has released more than 5 million sturgeons into the wild since the 1980s.
The Chinese sturgeon has existed for more than 140 million years, meaning it existed at the same time as the dinosaurs. The fish is under top State protection, said Xinhua.
Due to water projects, river traffic and environmental pollution, the number of wild Chinese sturgeon, which migrate to Hubei's Gezhou Dam to reproduce, has fallen from about 1,000 in 1982 to about 50 in 2012, according to researchers' estimates, Xinhua reported.
Wild sturgeons, once mature, usually swim from the sea to suitable river areas to lay their eggs around November.