"Despedida la Vaquita" by Frédérique Lucas
The vaquita porpoise - Photo by Tom Jefferson
International Save the Vaquita Day - Hong Kong
International Save the Vaquita Day is July 9th. Learn more>
The vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) is considered by many to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. in May 2016, the population size of the vaquita is considered to be 60, 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>
Only an immediate and total ban on gillnets in the entirety of the vaquita's range can save it from extinction.
©Todd Pusser/All Rights Reserved
*Based on CIRVA reports from 2014, 2015, and 2016 using data from both vessel surveys and acoustic monitoring to track the population. Some information suggests the current number could be closer to 50!
by: Dr. Tom Jefferson
Recent news from Mexico has generally not been good for the vaquita. Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Operation Milago has been working with the Mexican Navy and other authorities for the last several months, to remove illegal gillnets. Totoaba season has been in full swing, despite the gillnet ban. Sea Shepherd reports that in the last month, several dozen illegal gillnets have been removed from the waters of the northern Gulf, and found among the entangled victims have been dolphins, humpback whales, sharks, and many totoaba. The beaches of the San Felipe area have been littered with the dead bodies of totoaba, with the swim bladders removed! And worst of all, three vaquitas have been found dead in the last month (the most recent on 24 March), all likely victims of illegal gillnetting! Read more>
Captive Breeding and the Vaquita?
Read our position statement
Watch the new WILD LENS documentary
Souls of the Vermilion Sea:
Searching for Vaquita
All proceeds go to ¡VIVA Vaquita!
5/22/16 - The Last Vaquitas - CBS 60 Minutes
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).