On March 3, the Yangtze River sturgeon rewilding experiment achieved a breakthrough in the Yibin Jiang'an section of the Yangtze River: the Yangtze sturgeon, which was previously declared extinct in the wild, achieved natural spawning for the first time in the natural waters of the Yangtze River after 26 years, and successfully hatched the first Yangtze sturgeon seedlings in the same environment, taking a crucial step in restoring the wild population.
"This process of breeding with a fertilization rate of more than 50% may seem simple, but it took us many years, and this breakthrough is also a global first!" Du Hao, a researcher at the Jiang Fisheries Research Institute, president of the Chinese fishery science research, who led the wild breeding experiment of the Yangtze River sturgeon, said that this also dispelled everyone's concerns and questions about the Yangtze sturgeon's lack of wild breeding ability.
On July 2022, 7, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) released an updated report on the Red List of Globally Endangered Species, declaring the Yangtze sturgeon "extinct in the wild". Du Hao said that the results of this experiment have rekindled the confidence of researchers and brought new hope for the Yangtze sturgeon to achieve natural reproduction and restore and rebuild wild populations.
"Look, this is a seedling that just hatched this morning! The body length is about five or six millimeters, and the whole body is white..." On the morning of March 3, Li Pengcheng, assistant researcher of the Jiang Fisheries Research Institute, president of the Chinese fishery science research, carefully showed the seedling bucket to reporters, and saw the Yangtze River sturgeon seedlings the size of small tadpoles, swimming in the river with their tails dragged.
"These Yangtze sturgeon seedlings that have just hatched are very active." Li Pengcheng said that as the temperature warms up, the water temperature of the Yangtze River rises, and the fertilized eggs of the Yangtze sturgeon are currently emerging in large numbers. This is the first batch of Yangtze River sturgeon seedlings collected after spontaneous ovulation and fertilization and mating in the natural waters of the Yangtze River on March 3 this year, and the fertilized eggs collected in the spawning waters are synchronously and smoothly hatched, which is also the first batch of seedlings produced by the natural reproduction of Yangtze sturgeon in natural waters after 21 years, indicating the complete success of the natural breeding experiment of Yangtze sturgeon in the wild.
Du Hao, a researcher at the Jiang Fisheries Research Institute, president of the Chinese Fisheries Research Institute, who led the wild breeding experiment of the Yangtze River sturgeon, said that through this experiment, everyone's concerns and questions about the Yangtze sturgeon not having the ability to reproduce in the wild were dispelled.
The results of this experiment have rekindled the confidence of researchers and brought new hope for the natural reproduction of Yangtze sturgeon and the restoration and reconstruction of wild populations. "This is an important milestone in strengthening the protection of aquatic organisms in the Yangtze River." Du Hao said that from the successful indoor mimic ecological breeding for many years to the successful spontaneous mating and spawning breeding in the wild, a big step has been taken. "We will continue to work hard for a long time and persistently protect this river."
Zhou Bo, deputy director of the Institute of Fisheries of the Sichuan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, believes that the water environment of the Yangtze River has become better, creating more favorable living conditions for fish reproduction, and leaving more "friends" for human beings.
Jiang Xuan, Chengdu Business Daily-Red Star News reporter, Luo Min