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.
According to Viva Vaquita!, only an immediate and total ban on gillnets in the entirety of the vaquita’s range can save it from extinction. Learn more at www.vivavaquita.org.
Viva Vaquita was selected as the first recipient of DCP’s Pay It Forward for Conservation initiative: First, one of DCP’s board members will commit to a financial contribution directly to that organization. Second—and this is the fun part for you—DCP will also commit to telling the story of that organization to all of you, to build awareness about immediate conservation issues, and to build partnerships among organizations with shared goals.
(Vaquita content, including photograph taken by Tom Jefferson, copied with permission from Viva Vaquita.)