, Volume 48, Issue 1-4, pp 257-264

Biology and life history of Dabry's sturgeon, Acipenser dabryanus, in the Yangtze River

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Dabry's sturgeon, Acipenser dabryanus, is a relatively small (130 cm, 16 kg) and now rare sturgeon restricted to the Yangtze River Basin. It behaves as a resident freshwater fish, does not undertake long distance migrations (except for spawning), and lives in a variety of habitats. It historically spawned in the upper Yangtze River, but the spawning sites are unknown. Acipenser dabryanus reaches maturity earlier than do other Chinese sturgeons, which gives the species aquaculture potential, and artificial spawning has been carried out. However, the native population in the Yangtze has sharply declined in the last two decades due to overfishing, pollution and habitat alteration and destruction, especially since the construction of the Gezhouba Dam, which was built in 1981 across the Yangtze River at Yichang, Hubei Province. Since 1981, Dabry's sturgeon rarely occurs below the Gezhouba Dam because downstream movements are blocked. Clearly, conservation of Dabry's sturgeon must be emphasized. Conservation methods may include protecting habitats, controlling capture and stock replenishment.