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The Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis ssp. asiaeorientalis) is a cetacean endemic to the Yangtze River, listed as ‘critically endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The most recent survey of finless porpoises on the Yangtze main stem and the two lakes was conducted in 2012, yielding a total population estimate of 1,045 individuals. The finless porpoise population was found to be in accelerating decline – 13.73% per year.

WWF has been working with partners since 2002 to help protect the finless porpoise, part-funded by the HSBC Water Programme. WWF has specifically been involved in activities relating to population monitoring, habitat conservation, the establishment of oxbow lake reserves, policy influencing and awareness raising. 

Read the case study (2017) PDF detailing this work.