Vaquita or Gulf Of California Harbor Porpoise

Vaquita or Gulf Of California Harbor Porpoise

IUCN red list classification as critically endangered

Scientific Name: Phocoena sinus
English name: Vaquita or Gulf Of California Porpoise
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mammalia
Class: Chordata
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Phocoenidae

Link to Red List page: vaquita or Gulf Of California Harbor Porpoise in the red list 

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the vaquita habitat is reduced, live along the coast only. Usually she live in shallow waters being endemic to the place.


She’s small in dimensions, can reach 150 cm length and a weight around 50 kg.

Where to find:

In the Gulf of California only, is endemic of this place.


The vaquita studies are limited, like limited is the number of specimens remained. So we Don’t know a lot about this animal. Is knew she is very reserved, she don’t like boats and generally the other presence like humans. Even is behavior when she swim is discrete, the vaquita appear a little bit only for breath, and she go underwater immediately. Just the characteristic sound you can hear.
Something more we can know about the actually situation, through the Sea Shepherd Operation Milagro. Sea Shepherd is present in the gulf with her ships and work in collaboration with Mexican Govern. Their operation showed an another issue connect with the vaquita because afflict the same habitat.

The totoboa fish is catched because of his swim bladder. Actually in 2018 the adult population of vaquita is estimated below 20 animals and is classified by the red list IUCN Critically Endangered. Next step is the extinction, and i want to remember the extinction is forever .
The effort of Sea Shepherd Operation Milagro has limited the decline of vaquita population. At the moment poachers has shoot one drone, the battle is becoming more hard but the guys of the crew are strong and determined to save this beautiful animal. You can help them, visit the Sea Shepherd site and if you can help with donation.

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Major risk:

The first threat is in gillnets used for fishing by local fisherman, but there ate more issues. One is connected to the small number remained. It is create problem of inbreeding in reproduction, so the new calves are more vulnerable. Need to be remembered that is not migratory animal, is endemic of the gulf. Then there is the ecological impact, climate change reduced the fresh water flush, from Colorado river. Consequently the concentration of pesticide, and other pollution have more impact in the vaquita environment.
Actually in 2018 the adult population is estimated below 20 animals.

Gulf Of California Harbor Porpoise

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