LifestyleAncient dragon returns: Extinct sturgeon reintroduced in Europe

Ancient dragon returns: Extinct sturgeon reintroduced in Europe

The Atlantic sturgeon inhabits only the waters near North America
The Atlantic sturgeon inhabits only the waters near North America
Images source: © Adobe Stock

26 June 2024 16:31

Science never ceases to amaze me, and what the Swedish scientists have accomplished is remarkable. An extinct species, the ancient dragon, has been reintroduced at a facility in Germany.

The extinct sturgeons, also known as the ancient dragon, were reintroduced at the Institute of Freshwater Ecology in Berlin. Due to overfishing, this species went extinct in these waters over 100 years ago.

An extinct species brought back to life

Swedish scientists released the first Atlantic sturgeon fry into the Göta River, which flows through Gothenburg. Transported to Sweden in April, they had to acclimatise in a pool for several months.

According to scientists, it will take at least 15 years before today's 10-month-old, 45-centimetre fish return to the river to spawn. - For this reason, the Atlantic sturgeon will remain protected for a long time, and fishing it will be prohibited - emphasised biologist Dan Candelon, the creator of the species reintroduction project.

An adult sturgeon lives in the Atlantic Ocean and can reach up to 5 metres and weigh several hundred kilogrammes. The sturgeon is a bottom-dwelling fish, finding its food there. Scientists have implanted transmitters in all 78 released fish to track their journey.

Atlantic sturgeon

Currently, the Atlantic sturgeon lives only off the coasts and in rivers of North America. Due to its distinctive back and ancient origin, it is colloquially known as the ancient dragon.

The University of Gothenburg, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Natural History Museum, and the Sportfiskarna Anglers Association lead the species reintroduction project. The last reintroduced species in Sweden was the beaver, which was brought back in 1922.

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