Its extinction is imminent — and some even say, it's for the best. But the work is easier, more lucrative, and less risky than drug trafficking, so totoaba fishing continues—as do the deaths of vaquitas as bycatch. Check out the exclusive rewards, here. By Jessica Stewart on May 1, 2018 . Since then, all efforts have concentrated on the removal of gillnets, still the only serious threat to the vaquita and the totoaba. Vaquitas only live in the northern end of Mexico’s Gulf of California. Our work includes education, public awareness, research, and occasional lobbying. Dark pigment edging vaquitas’ eyes gives them a bovine look; in Spanish, the animal’s name means “little cow.”. This is just a fraction of the estimated population from 1997, which stood at 600. Why Vaquita Are Almost Extinct November 1, 2016 / Vaquita is an extremely rare species of porpoise found nowhere else except the northern Gulf of California. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. In 2005 Mexico’s government made part of the gulf a vaquita refuge. This is quite unusual, as vaquitas are the only porpoise species to tolerate warm water. Averaging 150 cm (for females) or 140 cm (for males) in length, it is the smallest of all living cetaceans. “I think they are actually waiting for the vaquita to go extinct so they can fish more and with fewer restrictions. Although you probably don’t know it, every day you run the risk of stumbling into a fishing net, becoming entangled and suffocating when you can’t get to the surface to breathe. The genetic data suggest that the vaquita's isolated habitat in the far northern Gulf of California has sustained roughly 5,000 vaquitas for around 250,000 years. While all animals undergo some stress while being transferred into captivity, the female porpoise the team rescued was not able to withstand the conditions and died shortly after being brought back to the sea. Unless the species’ decline can be slowed, vaquitas likely will become extinct before 2021, which raises the question: How did we let this happen? by "International Business Times - US ed. But the population kept falling—from more than 200 individuals in 2008 to fewer than 30 in 2016. A vaquita in the foreground with fishing boats in the background. Image: The first vaquita caught as part of a conservation effort in 2017. Credit: Vaquita CPR The Mexican government placed a 2 year ban on using gillnets in the are where vaquitas are present because fishing with gillnets were one of the main reasons he vaquita are going extinct. More information: Phillip A. Morin et al. If you are a vaquita, your life is perilous. All other species prefer water cooler than 68 degrees Fahrenheit. One of the world’s most endangered marine animals is a pint-size porpoise known as the vaquita. Podolsky co-directed Sea of Shadows, a National Geographic documentary about activists’ and undercover investigators’ work to help save the species. Without intervention, the vaquita, a small porpoise living in the Gulf of California in northeastern Mexico, may become the next whale or dolphin species to go extinct … Vaquitas were regularly drowning in gill nets meant for shrimp and totoabas, a fish whose swim bladder is a delicacy in China. However, this doesn't just apply to animals that nearly faced extinction in the past. Andrea Crosta of the wildlife trafficking watchdog group Elephant Action League recently traveled to Mexico, where multiple sources confirmed that the number of living vaquita was dangerously low. The vaquita (Phocoena sinus), literally "little cow", is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez, Vermilion Sea). All this affects the vaquita because while the gill nets catch totoaba, they also trap the small porpoises, which get tangled in the nets. He fears that the remaining vaquita won't make it through the upcoming illegal fishing season. Receive our Weekly Newsletter. This little porpoise wasn't discovered until 1958 and a little over half a century later, we are on the brink of losing them forever. 2012 200 ¡VIVA Vaquita! The species is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is facing imminent extinction. The population of the already rare vaquita was being obliterated by the totoaba trade. Scientists can identify individual vaquitas based on a single feature. As opposed to the white rhino, which faced extinction due to poaching, the vaquita itself isn't actively sought after by fishermen. Most likely, no more than 10 animals are left. In 1997 there were around 600 vaquitas. The latest report by the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) estimates that only between 6 and 22 individuals remained alive in 2018. Fishing nets have almost wiped vaquitas out. And though Mexican authorities have outlawed both totoaba fishing and gill nets, the lure of a big profit pushes local fishermen to continue the practice. Acoustic monitoring between 2011 and 2016 recorded an increased rate of decline to about 40 percent … Molecular Ecology Resources (2020). Totoaba, which is considered a delicacy in China, can fetch up to $50,000 on the black market. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Today, the species is on the brink of extinction. But unfortunately, traditional fishing methods in Mexico have contributed to the eradication of this marine species. The population has dropped from about 600 individuals in 1997 to fewer than 20 in 2018 and continues to decline at an alarming rate. Rare Vaquita Faces Extinction With Only 12 Left in the Wild. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Marine biologists estimate there are fewer than 20 of the porpoises left, and say they could even number in the single digits. Since 2007, the IUCN lists the vaquita as a critically endangered species, meaning that its numbers are so low that the species is threatened with extinction. Celebrating creativity and promoting a positive culture by spotlighting the best sides of humanity—from the lighthearted and fun to the thought-provoking and enlightening. To understand the lengths Vaquita CPR has gone to rescue vaquitas from the brink of extinction, consider that the team mobilized not just fellow … The Mexican shrimp industry was largely to blame for the loss of over 70 per cent of the vaquita population from 1990 to 2010. It could actually even be lower than that number. "; Business, international News, opinion and commentary Delphinidae Protection and preservation Dolphins (Mammals) Marine mammals Porpoises As our patron, you’ll become a member and join us in our effort to support the arts. The population has been declining for many years, from an estimated 600 in 1997 and down to below 100 in 2014, the rate of decline has not slowed down … Two vaquitas in the Gulf of California. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Find out how by becoming a Patron. Visit My Modern Met Media. Every loss of vaquita is a critical blow to the species’ recovery. The genetic data suggest that the vaquita’s isolated habitat in the far northern Gulf of California has sustained roughly 5,000 vaquitas for around 250,000 years. A risky last-ditch effort to capture some of the remaining vaquita to keep them safe from poachers and their gillnets ended in the fall of 2017 when a female vaquita died following capture and release. Some vaquitas have individually … Free Online Library: Navy Dolphins Might Save The Vaquita From Extinction. Currently, only up to 19 vaquitas are still alive. works collaboratively with many other organizations (such as various NGOs, museums, aquaria, foundations, and governmental organizations) and individuals to carry out work aimed at helping to save the vaquita from extinction. Want to advertise with us? It exists only in the Gulf of California off Mexico. (Photo: Paula Olson, NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons). Their name means “little cow” in Spanish because these tiny, chubby porpoises are usually only about four feet long. The vaquita porpoise lost 90% of its original population from 2011-2016. The steep decline in abundance is primarily due to bycatch in gillnets from the illegal totoaba fishery. Date: March 14, 2016 Source: NOAA Fisheries Summary: An expedition has taken place to estimate how many vaquita remain. The advent of gillnetting for fish and shrimp only a few decades ago drove vaquitas towards extinction, as they are incidentally caught in the nets. This small porpoise, which lives in the northern part of the Gulf of California, has been in danger for quite some time, with the population declining from 600 in 1997 down to 30 in 2017. Can the vaquita be saved from extinction? Unfortunately, they were without success. 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The ‘little cow’ of the sea nears extinction. Besides … Where do vaquitas live? The court said that circumstances had not changed enough to consider striking down the ban, enacted in July 2018 by Judge Gary S. Katzmann. The world is on the cusp of losing another important species, as new reports estimate that just 12 vaquitas remain in the wild. The team captured two females—but when both began showing signs of stress, they were released. Two vaquitas in the Gulf of California. The extinction of the vaquita, small porpoises found only in the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico, may be imminent if action is not taken to save the small remaining number from being killed or dying off. This young female vaquita, known as V01F, was captured during the VaquitaCPR mission, an emergency effort to place some of the endangered cetaceans in protected seapens. The vaquita, or Phocoena sinus, is a small porpoise that reaches about 5 feet in length and about 120 pounds in adulthood. The advent of gillnetting for fish and shrimp only a few decades ago drove vaquitas towards extinction, as they are incidentally caught in the nets. We’re also on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Flipboard. (Photo: Paula Olson, NOAA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) The world is on the cusp of losing another important species, as new reports estimate that just 12 vaquitas remain in the wild. Between 1997 and 2008, vaquitas decreased at about 8 percent per year, a figure consistent with the estimated decline that would result from the amount of gillnetting for shrimp and finfish. It is possible, though, that there no more than 10 vaquitas left. Quite solitary in their behavior, they live in shallow, warm water. Citation : Vaquita porpoise about to go extinct, researchers warn (2019, July 31) retrieved 15 October 2020 … She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy.
2020 vaquita extinction date