A total of 700 Chinese sturgeons were released on Saturday into the country’s longest river, the Yangtze River, to save the species from extinction.

A total of 700 Chinese sturgeons were released on Saturday into the country’s longest river, the Yangtze River, to save the species from extinction.

The 700 captive-bred sturgeons, nicknamed “aquatic pandas,’’ were released in the city of Yichang, central China’s Hubei Province, by the Chinese Sturgeon Research Institute (CSRI) of the China Three Gorges Corporation.

The sturgeons released into the river will help boost the endangered species’ survival rate in the wild and enhance their generic diversity, said Li Zhiyuan, deputy director of CSRI.

Li said the sturgeons sent back to the wild include both junior and adult fishes with relatively larger sizes to enrich the species’ population of different age groups.

Scientists will also study the data collected on the Chinese sturgeon’s migration and reproduction activities in means of sonar and other advanced methods.

Chinese experts have started reintroduction events to increase the population of sturgeons, a rare fish that dates back to the dinosaurs, since 1984.

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