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What is the News?
According to the United States Commission for Environmental Cooperation(CEC), Vaquita Porpoise is nearing extinction and immediate measures are needed to save the remaining population.
Note: Porpoises are among the smallest members of the cetacean family (whales, porpoises and dolphins). They are only distant relatives of dolphins (they last had a common ancestor roughly 15 million years ago).
What is Vaquita Porpoise?
Vanquita Porpoise is the world’s smallest cetacean.Its name means “little cow” in Spanish.
- IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered
- CITES: Appendix I
Habitat: Found only in the northern Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in Mexico. Most commonly seen in shallow waters up to 50 meters deep.
Vaquita Porpoise has a dark ring around the eyes is its most striking feature, along with a proportionally large dorsal fin.
It is unique among the porpoises as it is the only species of that family found in warm waters.
Like many other species of porpoise, vaquita tend to be shy and elusive, avoiding boats when approached.
Threats: The vaquita population has been in sharp decline for decades, recently accelerated by illegal fishing with gill nets for the vulnerable totoaba, a large fish sought after for its swim bladder.
Source: This post is based on the article “Extinction threat: Vaquita porpoise global population down to only 10” published in Down To Earth on 15th April 2022.