The Yangtze River White Sturgeon is huge, with an adult fish of up to seven or eight meters long. It swims fast. It is called the "tiger in the water" and the "king of Chinese freshwater fish". It is also one of the ten largest freshwater fish in the world. On January 2, 2020, the Yangtze River White Sturgeon failed to enter 2020 and was declared extinct. The Yangtze River White Sturgeon is an endangered national first-class protected animal in the Yangtze River in China. Due to their scarcity and easy injury and death, the research institute failed to capture the mature Yangtze River white sturgeon parents for artificial reproduction research. People often compare the Chinese sturgeon to the "living fossil" and the "Yangtze River Fish King". In fact, the fossil record shows that the Yangtze River white sturgeon is older than the Chinese sturgeon. At present, the remaining flagship species in the Yangtze River ecosystem include Chinese sturgeon, Yangtze sturgeon, and Yangtze finless porpoise, but their protection situation is also very severe.
The State Council’s Environmental Protection Committee listed the Yangtze River White Sturgeon as one of the most important and rare animals in the “Key Protected Wildlife List” issued in 1983 and 1987. In 1988, it was listed as a national first-level protected animal. In 1996 It is listed as a critically endangered species under the IUCN Red List and is protected. In fact, preliminary statistics as early as 1999 showed that the Yangtze River's white sturgeon resources were less than 400, and since 1985, no supplementary groups of Yangtze River white sturgeon juveniles have been found in the entire river section. Due to the obstruction of water conservancy projects, the migratory species of Yangtze River White Sturgeon cannot return to the natural spawning ground of Yangtze River White Sturgeon. Without reproduction, the species will naturally go extinct.
In January 2003, Yibin, Sichuan, discovered a Yangtze River white sturgeon by accident. An article published by the Yangtze River White Sturgeon Working Group of the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences recorded the whole process of the release tracking and signal loss: at 3 pm on January 27, 2003, the rescue team was on the 24th After the successful rescue of the Yangtze River White Sturgeon accidentally caught in Yibin, Sichuan, the Yangtze River White Sturgeon was released with a sonar mark and followed up by the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute. The white sturgeon of the Yangtze River was temporarily lost at 5 o'clock on January 29. It was discovered again at 14:33 in the Dingdingshi River section of Nanxi County on the same day. At 21:58, the white sturgeon of the Yangtze River continued to move downstream to reach the Jiulongtan River section. The waterway is complicated, and the tracking speedboat hit a rock. The speedboat propeller and tracking equipment were damaged and it was impossible to continue tracking. This may be the last Yangtze River white sturgeon ever seen by humans.