March 27 (NBD) -- A breakthrough was made in the natural breeding experiment of the Dabry's sturgeon, also known as the Yangtze sturgeon, in the Jiangan section of Yibin, Sichuan Province on Sunday. 

The Yangtze sturgeon, which was declared extinct in the wild 23 years ago, had naturally spawned and successfully hatched the first batch of juvenile sturgeon, which was a crucial step to restoring the wild population.

"Look, these are the juveniles hatched this morning! They are about 5-6mm long and come in white," said Li Pengcheng, assistant researcher of the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, carefully showing the juvenile bucket. The Yangtze River sturgeon juveniles, the same size as the small tadpoles, were swimming in the river with their tails swagging.

"These newly hatched Yangtze sturgeon are very active," said Li Pengcheng. As the weather along the Yangtze River warms up, a large number of fertilized eggs of the Yangtze River sturgeon are hatched. This is the first batch of seedlings naturally bred in the natural water of the Yangtze River in 23 years.

"The fertilization rate has exceeded 50%. Although the process seems simple, we have spent many years on this" Du Hao, head researcher of this breeding experiment, dispelling everyone's concerns about the lack of wild breeding ability of the Yangtze sturgeon.

Editor: Tan Yuhan