"Despedida la Vaquita" by Frédérique Lucas
The vaquita porpoise - Photo by Tom Jefferson
International Save the Vaquita Day - Hong Kong
The vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) is considered by most to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. In January 2017, the population size of the vaquita was thought to be <50, based on the results of a 2015 vessel survey and acoustic study. It is the smallest of only seven species of true porpoises, and is the only one that lives in warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found in a tiny area in the extreme northern Gulf of California, near Baja California, Mexico. Learn more about vaquita>
An immediate and total removal of gillnets from the entirety of the vaquita's range can save it from extinction.
©Todd Pusser/All Rights Reserved
*Based on CIRVA reports from 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, using data from both vessel surveys and acoustic monitoring to track the population.
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Photos taken under permit (Oficio No. DR/488/08 from the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturale Protegidas (CONANP/Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), within a natural protected area subject to special management and decreed as such by the Mexican Government. This work was made possible thanks to the collaboration and support of the Coordinador de Investigación y Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos at the Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE).