Dolphin conservationists locked in seesaw struggle_Local—China Economic Net
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Dolphin conservationists locked in seesaw struggle
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2011-08-13 13:00

"In China, we have established seven Yangtze River Dolphin reserves so far. But the species remains on the decline due to the menaces of boat traffic and water conservancy construction," said Yu.

Wang Gende, a volunteer hired by the Anqing Yangtze River Dolphin Reserve to monitor the dolphins' activities, said that just a few years ago, he could spot dolphins over 200 times each year.

"I saw the dolphins less than 50 times during the first half of this year," said the 46-year-old man, a resident of the township's village of Linjiang.

"Relocation is a better way to remedy the situation, as the Xijiang River, with its rich aquatic resources, is a hard-to-find habitat for river dolphins, " said Yu.

In the 1990s, a state-level river dolphin reserve was established along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in the city of Tongling in east China's Anhui Province. About 11 Yangtze River Dolphins are currently living in the reserve.

Chen Ran, an engineer from the Tongling Reserve Management Commission, attributed the impasse to changing economic situations.

"Twenty years ago, the city government allowed us to use the waters as a reserve for free. Now, all townships have treated economic development as their first and primary task. It's difficult for them to give away resources for free," he said.

"The key to breaking the lasting stalemate is to change the minds of the Haikou township government and its residents," said Yu.

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