Yangtze finless porpoise in Yangtze River, China 2006

Zhao Xiujiang, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dataset credit

Zhao Xiujiang, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Wang Ding, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Primary contact Zhao Xiujiang Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



The Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) is endemic to the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China. It is the only freshwater population of porpoises in the world and is currently listed as Endangered by IUCN. In November and December 2006, we used two boats and line transect methods to survey the entire current range of the population, except for two lakes (Poyang and Dongting). When on-effort, one boat surveyed 3,100 km with 240 sightings and a mean group size of 1.87 resulting in 0.077 sightings/km, while the other boat surveyed 3,065 km with 198 sightings and a mean group size of 2.05 resulting in 0.065 sightings/km.


The purpose of this study was to search for baiji and evaluate the status of Yangtze finless porpoise.

Supplemental information

Baiji was announced to be likely extinct after this range-wide survey since not a single baiji was found during this survey (Turvey et al. 2007).


Zhao, X.J., J. Barlow, B.L. Taylor, R.L. Pitman, K.X. Wang, Z. Wei, B.S. Stewart, S.T. Turvey, T. Akamatsu, R.R. Reeves and D. Wang. 2008. Abundance and conservation status of the Yangtze finless porpoise in the Yangtze River, China. Biological Conservation. 141(12): 3006-3018.
Turvey, S.T., R.L. Pitman, B.L. Taylor, J. Barlow, T. Akamatsu, L.A. Barrett, X.J. Zhao, R.R. Reeves, B.S. Stewart, K.X. Wang, Z. Wei, X.F. Zhang, L.T. Pusser, M. Richlen, J.R. Brandon and D. Wang. 2007. First human-caused extinction of a cetacean species?. Biology Letters. 3(5): 537-540.



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Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
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Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
boatName of the boat
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
obs_countGroup size
obs_timeTime. No second part provided
sp_tsnITIS taxonomic serial number. This field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
Marine mammals640
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2006-11-06
Date, End2006-12-13
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude29.44 - 32.30
Longitude112.20 - 121.37
Coord. prec.3 decimal digits
Data typeAnimal sighting
Traveled (km)0
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