Author: sclougheed (Page 2 of 2)

16 August – Travel to Wuhan & Visit to CAS Hydrobiology Institue (Fineless Porpoise Centre). 2018年8月16日]-赴武汉,参观中科院水生生物研究所(江豚中心) 团队名称:小龙虾

Blog Entry Written by Team: Red Swampy Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)

Team Members: Sasha Main (Queen’s), Zhizhou He (Fudan), and Zihan Dong (Waterloo)

Weather: Sunny, Humid, Temp 30-35 degrees Celsius

团队成员:Sasha Main(皇后大学)、何知舟(复旦大学)、董子涵(滑铁卢大学)


This morning was an early 5:40 am departure to the Shanghai train station, and then to Wuhan via fast train. When we left many students were tired and we were a bit delayed due to a couple forgotten cell phones. Once we arrived at the train station there was great “people watching” and we purchased much needed coffee. We joked around while waiting, particularly at a poorly named clothing store in the train station called “Teenie Weenie”. We boarded the fast train around 8:20am and many team groups started working on their seminar presentations. We also made sure to observe the changes of landscape as we were on the train. Shanghai was very developed but once we passed Nanjing there was much more land allocated to agriculture and aquaculture- specifically fish culture ponds. Eventually the landscape turned to forested mountains with the winding river, and many rural areas complete with dirt roads. In between opening of tunnels we observed large fields of solar panels.


Once we arrived in Wuhan, we boarded a bus to travel to the CAS Hydrobiology Institute, also known as the Yangtze Cetacean Breeding and Research Center. On our bus ride, we passed over the Yangtze river which looked very brown and had many cargo ships. We got rerouted and walked through a lesser developed area of Wuhan to reach the Hydrobiology facility. We were warmly welcomed with introductions from Hao Yujiang and a guest speech on the research facility’s initiatives by Liu Xin. They informed us that the Yangtze River Dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer) had many population stresses due to human activity, such as shipping, pollution, fishing and hydro projects, leading to its functional extinction in 2007.

一到武汉,我们就上了巴士,前往中国科学院水生生物研究所(又名长江鲸类繁育研究中心)。乘车通过武汉第二长江大桥时,我们看到泥沙浑浊的长江上泊有很多货船。下车后,我们步行穿过武汉一个较不发达的地段,到达了水生生物研究所。我们受到了郝玉江的热情接待并聆听了刘欣关于研究中心倡议的嘉宾演讲。他们告诉我们,由于人类活动,长江白暨豚(Lipotes vexillifer)面临许多种群压力,如航运、污染、渔业和水利工程等。这些压力导致其在2007年功能性灭绝。江豚(Neophocaena asiaeorientalis)也面临着类似的压力,其数量从1991年的2550只减少到了2012年的505只。为了拯救江豚,该机构建立了许多自然保护区和圈养繁殖计划。保护区在增加江豚数量方面取得了成功,但是在过去的22年里,圈养繁殖计划只繁殖了两只健康的江豚。关于在江豚育种计划中面临的挑战——如基因库的缩减和亚种的使用可能——有一些有趣的争论。总之,公众意识、政府关注和非政府组织的参与有望继续帮助江豚保护它们的自然栖息地。演讲结束后,我们很高兴能够看到属于圈养繁殖计划中一些江豚。它们很漂亮,这是我们这天行程的最大亮点。

They informed us that the Yangtze River Dolphin had many population stresses due to human activity, such as shipping, pollution, fishing and hydro projects, leading to its extinction in 2007. The finless porpoise faces similar stresses, and the population has declined from 2550 in 1991 to 505 in 2012. In order to attempt to save the finless porpoise the institution has created many natural reserves and a captive breeding program. The reserves have been successful in increasing them, but the captive breeding program has only produced two healthy finless porpoises in the last 22 years. There was interesting discussion of the challenges to come in the breeding program such as reduced gene pool and the possible use of sub-species. Altogether, there’s hope that public awareness, government concern, and involvement of NGOs will continue to help the finless porpoises and protect their natural habitat. After the presentation, we had the pleasure of seeing a few of the finless porpoises in the captive breeding program. They were beautiful, and it was the highlight of our day.

他们讲述了白鳍豚面临的人类活动如航运,污染,渔业和水利工程带来的种群压力,2007 年白鳍豚灭亡。江豚也面临着同样的困境,并且种群数量从1991年的2550头下降到了2012年的505头。为了拯救江豚,机构建立了很多自然保护区并启动了圈养繁殖项目。保护区成功实现了数量增长,然而圈养繁殖项目在过去的22年里只带来了两条健康的小生命。对于圈养繁殖面临的困境比如缩小的基因库和潜在可用的亚种,我们进行了有趣激烈的讨论。总的来说,我们希望民众觉醒,政府关注,非政府组织的参与可以继续帮助江豚种族的延续和保护它们的栖息地。

After the presentation, we had the pleasure of seeing a few of the finless porpoises in the captive breeding program. They were beautiful, and it definitely was the highlight of our day.

That evening we presented our seminar on aquaculture in China and Canada. The team ‘finless porpoise’ also presented on invasive species, featuring case studies on Asian Carp, Spartina alternifora, and Clarias patradus. Overall, it was an unforgettable day filled with lots of new information and lots of laughter.


那个晚上我们进行了我们的小组展示,题目是中国和加拿大的水产养殖业。‘江豚’小组也展示了他们的话题——入侵物种,并有一些例子比如亚洲鲤鱼,互花米草,Clarias patradus,总的来说,这一天非常难忘,我们学到了许多知识,伴随着无穷的欢乐。

15 August – Introductory lectures, hot weather & a visit to Dianshan Lake

Our day began slowly but surely, in a familiar setting, as we assisted to lectures given by Drs. Lougheed and Wang in the morning. Defeating the heat and multiple technical difficulties (looking at you, projector!), we had the opportunity to review our amphibians and fish knowledge, with focus on their phylogeny, the big groups they’re composed of, shared physiological and morphological characteristics, and even the diversity of their reproduction modes. For example, did you know that gastro-brooding frogs (Rheobatrachus) ingest their eggs after laying them, let them hatch inside their stomach, then give birth through their mouth? How cool is that! We came out of the lecture hall with plenty of new conversation starters and impatient to observe some of those traits in the field a bit later this week, with new herpetologist and ichthyologist eyes!

After a typical Chinese lunch at the JSB canteen, we headed towards Shanghai QingXi Country Park in Qingpu, where the government is making massive wetland and aquaculture restoration efforts. As the Chinese population is reaching extraordinary numbers, the goal of these efforts isn’t so much to bring back the ecosystem to what is was before industrial aquaculture and agriculture, but rather to reconciliate nature with these human activities. The park, with an opening area of 4.6 km2 out of a total planning area of 22.35km^2 and centered on the Da Lian Lake, is the only country park featuring wetland in Shang Hai. We observed rice and fragrant wheat fields, fishponds, lotus fields and even peach trees at there. The quiet beauty of a submerged Cyprus forest almost made us feel like we were on a different planet entirely. Despite the fact that it is an artificial ecosystem, it provides a comfortable living environment for many living organisms and plants. For instance, tiger grogs (Rana rugulosa Wiegmann) have been introduced in the rice fields to protect the crops from being consumed by voracious insects. Since the frogs don’t survive the winter, their numbers are easily controlled. The park also provides precious sanctuary to over a hundred species of birds, where keeps them away from pollution and destruction of habitats. We caught a glimpse of a few of these birds, such as egrets (Casmerodius albus) and grebes (Tachybapus ruficollis). Lu even found a species that shares her name in Chinese. That’s all for today and we are very excited for the following activities in Wuhan.


在嘉兴环境研究院的餐厅吃过午饭后,我们去往政府大力建设水产业与湿地修复的上海青浦青西郊野公园。由于中国人口的快速增长,政府投资建设青西国家公园的目标不是将生态系统恢复到工业与水产业出现之前的状态,而是将人类活动与自然相协调化。以大莲湖为中心的青西郊野公园是上海市唯一 一个以湿地为特色的郊野公园,其总规划面积为22.35平方公里,目前开放面积为4.6平方公里。我们在那里看到了水稻, 麦田,鱼塘,莲花田以及桃树。尽管它是一个人工生态系统,但它为许多生物和植物提供了一个舒适的生活环境。例如在水稻田中引入虎纹蛙,利用虎纹蛙在消灭破坏庄稼的昆虫。由于虎纹蛙在冬天无法生存,所以他们的数量很容易控制。青西郊野公园里面生存了超过100种鸟类,其中白鹭最普遍。我们的白露同学还与白鹭合照了。青西郊野公园的宁静之美为我们今天的行程画上了一个完美的句号。让我们一起来期待接下来几天的武汉之旅!


14 August – Wuzhen Water Village

Blog Entry Written by Team: Finless Porpoise

Team Members: Yanling Wang (Queen’s), Shidan Wen(BNU), Renata Sampaio (Laurier)

Weather: Partly Cloudy, Temp 33ºC

Day 1!

Today we had our first expedition to visit the Wuzhen water village. Along our way to the village, we saw beautiful Chinese architecture and saw the Jinghang Grand Canal. The Grand Canal was built thousands of years ago to connect South and North which allows fast transportation of goods in ancient China. Although it serves an important role in transportation, it brings some ecological problems such as introducing invasive species and constantly removing sediments. The Grand Canal is a great example of human taking advantage of vast water network. After passing by the Grand Canal, we also saw a power station that is powered by burning fossil fuels. In order to protect the environment, the government have cut down coal burning in the past decades, especially in populated area. Nowadays, the Jinghang Grand Canal aids in the transportation of water from the South of China to the North, where a shortage occurs.

We made it to the water village and after a few pictures with the locals, ventured inside. We divided into small groups to tackle the beautiful village. Wuzhen village was built on water networks. The water network within the village allows the people who live there, access for transportation, laundry, and a sewage system. It has become a very popular tourist attraction due to its unique design. The traditional buildings in the village have black roof tiles and white walls. To aid with ventilation, people built their house with gaps in the roof thus air can pass through easily. The river running through the village seems to be polluted by human. The water was turbid and appears to have a lot of algae due to rich nutrition from human activities. Other pollutants are heavy metals and human litters. Within this village there were many museums, a school, a temple and lots of local cuisine to choose from. YUM! We were all happy to be back on the fresh, cool bus after being outside in the hot sun and on our way for lunch. We tracked through a local kitchen and after a few twists and turns made it to our table at Grandma’s Kitchen. The food was scrumptious!

Once we arrived at the hotel we had some time to relax and freshen up. We spent the evening working on our group projects, giving formal introductions and having a discussion with the professors about the impacts human development has had on the water resource in China. Overall it was a wonderful and enlightening day and we are excited for what the rest of the week has to offer!







12-13 August 2018 – Assembling in Shanghai

Today began our field course in Eastern China. Some of us departed from Canada at 1:00 pm from Pearson Airport in Toronto, Canada. Others had already made their way to China. They and participants from Chinese university partners (Fudan, Beijing Normal, Southwest) made their way to the Pudong international airport – assembling outside of there Starbucks outside of airport arrivals. Once assembled we made the way to our bus, and traveled for about 2 hours to the Tongji-Jiaxing Yangtze Environmental Specimen Bank in the ‘small’ city of Jiaxing in Zhejiang province. Half of us are staying in a nearby hotel, while the rest stayed in dorm rooms at the facility. After a quick dinner, and introduction to the course we all fell into our beds to rest for the upcoming activities.


On the bus to the Yangtze Environmental Specimen Bank.

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