Edukemy Gazette

Yangtze finless porpoise

Yangtze finless porpoise

In News: Yangtze finless porpoise has returned to Dongting Lake after a ban on sand mining.        About

  • Porpoises are part of a group of marine mammals called cetaceans, which includes all whales and dolphins
  • It is the only freshwater porpoise in the world and breeds just once in 18 months.
  • Yangtze finless has a level of intelligence similar to that of a gorilla.
  • These are very small compared to whales but move with high speed.
  • These are good indicators of the health of their ecosystem, hence called keystone species.


  • Overfishing increased shipping traffic, and noise pollution have all been linked with the decline of the porpoise.
  • Sand mining is also a potential threat.


  • Finless porpoises live in the Yangtze River in China, where they can be found in the main river channel and:
  1. Poyang and Dongting: two large lakes  
  2. Tien Ezhou and He Wang Miao: two ox-bow lakes

Conservation status

  • IUCN Red List: Critically endangered




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