A rescue program to save the vaquita, the world’s most endangered cetation (whales, dolphins and porpoises), has not started off well. Earlier this year, I reported that there were only an estimated 30 vaquitas left in the world. That number may now be down to 15 or less. The ambitious program to save vaquitas experienced a setback when a captured female died.
Another species of marine mammal is on the verge of extinction. The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), a small porpoise endemic to the northern Gulf of Mexico, is reportedly just 30 individuals away from being lost forever. The name vaquita is Spanish for “little cow,” and it looks somewhat like a panda mixed with a dolphin. Because individuals suffer high mortality when trapped in illegal gill nets used by fishermen, the vaquita populations have plummeted since 1997. Mexico has spent millions trying to stop the illegal practice of using gill nets, but to date has not been able to prevent it completely. Continue reading Vaquita: The World’s Rarest Marine Mammal Is In Trouble→