[header photo credit: ecoosfera.com]
With less than 30 in the entire world, the vaquita porpoise, is vanishing to the point of near extinction.
These beautiful, shy cetaceans, were discovered back in 1958. They can only be found in the northern part (armpit) of the Gulf of California off the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.
How and why did this happen you wonder? This is the how (taken from Save the Vaquita campaign at www.porpoise.org) :
‘Gill-nets: The Invisible Killer
The single most significant threat to the vaquita’s survival is accidental entanglement. The small animal frequently gets caught in fixed fishing nets (gill-nets), as by-catch. Unable to surface for air, the entangled animals drown within minutes. This threat is accelerated by illegal fishing for another endangered species that lives in the vaquita habitat, the totoaba ─ a large species of fish sought after for its swim bladder, driven by demand from China where it is considered a delicacy with medicinal value.
Gill-nets are particularly dangerous because they are indiscriminate. While usually designed for a single species, large amounts of unwanted by-catch are inevitable. More than 300,000 whales, porpoises and dolphins get entangled in fishing nets annually. Most of them die, and the few that get away do so with severe injuries.’
This is the why:
This is the hope to stop them from going extinct.
[‘A young juvenile vaquita was the first animal to be rescued by VaquitaCPR in October. Sadly, it had to be released shortly after when it showed signs of stress. Photo: VaquitaCPR’]
‘A last-ditch attempt to save the vaquita ends without achieving its mission’ means there are now only about 20 of these amazing sea mammals left but there is still a sliver of hope to save them and they need your help.
Check out the links below to learn more about the vanishing vaquitas and ways you can help with this timely effort to save them.
The easiest free way to help is to bring awareness by sharing this post on your social media and telling children and teachers about the desperate need to save this near extinct species.
Please do what you can to help them survive and hopefully thrive in the future. There are many ways to help besides donating money. (read the articles in the links above for ways of donating and writing to Mexican and US government officials)
Extinction is forever. Please help save the vaquita.