The population trend for this secretive creature strongly suggests time is running out. Six months: That’s how much time Mexico now has to report on its progress to save the critically endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) from extinction.It’s a time-sensitive deadline. Currently, there are so few individuals left, that they are considered to be the most endangered cetacean species in the world. WWF is urgently working to ensure they can live and thrive in their natural habitat. How many vaquitas are left?A survey released earlier this year estimated the vaquita population was as low as 30 individuals. Like you, vaquitas can’t breathe underwater and so when they get tangled in these nets and can’t get to the surface to breathe, they suffocate. Today, the species is on the brink of extinction. Recent research estimates the population at fewer than 10 individuals. Vaquitas share waters with the much sought-after totoaba fish and fishing nets inadvertently catch and drown the porpoise. 3. View our inclusive approach to conservation. There may be fewer than 30 vaquita left in the world and we can save them. Unlike other porpoises, vaquitas give birth only every other year. Take action and ask Mexican President Peña Nieto to enforce protection of the vaquita. Gill-nets: The Invisible Killer. Averaging 150 cm or 140 cm in length, it is the smallest of all living cetaceans. 1. What do vaquitas look like?The world’s smallest porpoise, vaquitas measure up to five-feet long and weigh up to 120 lbs. Vaquitas were regularly drowning in gill nets meant for shrimp and totoabas, a fish whose swim bladder is a delicacy in China. The technology is extremely precise, and allows the team to view a span of up to 200 metres underwater with accuracy of within 0.1 metres. The Vaquita Refuge Area is supposed to be protected habitat for the species, but illegal fishing boats are still caught fishing in the area by the Mexican government and are getting off with minimal consequences. They live to be about 20-21 years old. You can help us raise awareness to support the conservation effort and save the vaquita porpoise from extinction. WWF is asking for an immediate, increased response from the Mexican government, World Heritage Committee and CITES Parties, NGOS and civil society groups to protect the last remaining vaquitas and set the Upper Gulf of California on a path to recovery. Castellazzi, Giovanni ; Krysl, Petr ; Rojas, Lorenzo ; Cranford, Ted W. (2012). Why are vaquitas in such trouble? Join us to make change. A vaquita is a small, dark grey porpoise that reaches a maximum length of just under five feet and weighs up to 120 pounds. The primary threat to vaquitas is entanglement in fishing gear. WHY DOES BAD STUFF HAPPEN? Besides … It is one of the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. The scientific name Phocoena is from the Latin word “porpoise” or “pig fish.”Sinus means “cavity,” a reference to the Gulf of California. In the 1990s, that number had declined to about 700. Cantú-Guzmán, Juan Carlos ; Olivera-Bonilla, Alejandro ; Sánchez-Saldaña, María Elena (2015). The vaquita is the smallest porpoise, and the smallest cetacean. Where do vaquitas live?Vaquitas only live in the northern end of Mexico’s Gulf of California. It lives only in the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), where latest abundance estimates point to just 30 animals left (as of November 2016). Together, we can protect the Gulf of California World Heritage site, home to the critically endangered vaquita. The Vaquita is the smallest and most endangered cetacean species along with being one of the most endangered species on the planet. Save the Vaquita is just … 2. What can be done to save the vaquita?Mexican President Peña Nieto has committed to protecting the vaquita. “Monterey Bay Diving is proud to be a part of this project and maintains a strong advocacy … JARAMILLO-LEGORRETA, A. ; ROJAS-BRACHO, L. ; URBAN, J. Newborns are born in the spring (March/April). Vaquita are often caught and drowned in gillnets used by illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas within Mexico's Gulf of California. Where do vaquitas live? It is the world’s most endangered marine mammal, and one of the most endangered creatures on earth. But, we must ask the Mexican president to take strong action now. In it God gives us all the gift of personal time with him. Why is the Vaquita endangered? Violent battle playing out to save the last 22 vaquitas, the world's most endangered porpoise. 05. "If there are only so few left, can we still save the vaquita? 1250 24th Street, N.W. Its extinction is imminent — and some even say, it's for the best. Washington, DC 20037. Uncategorized October 23, 2020 0 Comment. VAQUITA } Phocoena sinus FAMILY: Phocoenidae. WWF is working with the Mexican government, scientists, and other partners and collaborators to protect this unique creature. With less than 30 animals left in the wild, the vaquita needs all the support it can get. info /at/ porpoise.org. Besides the vaquita, the Gulf of California has tremendous biological and economic importance. But its natural predator, the shark, is not its biggest threat. Failure to act will result in the imminent extinction of the vaquita. Vaquita: the most endangered marine mammal In May and October of 2017 we joined forces with the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), and Monterey Bay Diving to locate and remove illegal gillnets from the critical vaquita porpoise habitat in the Gulf of California. Gerrodette, Tim ; Taylor, Barbara L. ; Swift, René ; Rankin, Shannon ; Jaramillo-Legorreta, Armando M. ; Rojas-Bracho, Lorenzo (2010). Mexico has been given one year to demonstrate that it is taking appropriate legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures to protect this heritage site and the animals that live there—including the vaquita. The world’s population of vaquitas, a small porpoise that lives in the Upper Gulf of California, consists of only 12 individuals (and possibly fewer). Why are vaquitas so endangered? With as few as around 10 left, the species will become extinct without a fully enforced gillnet ban throughout their entire habitat. Most members of the species are smaller. 5. NATURAL HISTORY. The original population in the 1930s was estimated to be around 5,000 individuals strong. Sporting a stocky, porpoise shape, the species has distinguishable dark rings which surround their eyes, along with dark patches on their lips and a dark line running from their mouths to their dorsal fins. The IUCN can declare a species critically endangered if there has been a significant decline of growth in a short period of… Once a gillnet was located, we used underwater grappling tools to mark the net, so it could later be removed. ", Report of the Eleventh meeting of the Comité Internacional para la Recuperación de la Vaquita (CIRVA), A combined visual and acoustic estimate of 2008 abundance, and change in abundance since 1997, for the vaquita, Phocoena sinus, A history (1990-2015) of mismanaging the vaquita into extinction - A Mexican NGO's perspective, A new abundance estimate for vaquitas: First step for recovery, A review of acoustic surveys and conservations actions for the vaquita, Assessment of the effect of natural and anthropogenic aquatic noise on vaquita (Phocoena sinus) through a numerical simulation, Conservation of the vaquita Phocoena sinus, Dual extinction: The illegal trade in the endangered totoaba and its impact on the critically endangered vaquita.
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