Mexico, world’s smallest whale threatened by extinction


Vaquita

From Biology News Net:

Research published in the academic journal Mammal Review has uncovered the missing link in the depleting population of the vaquita.

With a body less than 1.5 m long, the vaquita is the smallest living cetacean (the order Cetacea consists of whales, dolphins and porpoises).

It also has one of the smallest ranges (c. 2235 km2) and one of the smallest populations (< 600 individuals based on a 1997 survey).

This little porpoise is one of the two most critically endangered small cetaceans in the world, suggesting that its chances of survival are small, just like its population size and area of distribution.

So, what actions have been and are being taken to prevent the vaquita’s extinction and promote its recovery”?

In a recent paper published in Mammal Review, the authors from Mexico and Canada reviewed the scientific issues, described previous and ongoing conservation efforts, and identified remaining obstacles, established priorities, and provided recommendations.

The vaquita is endemic to the north-western corner of the Gulf of California (north of 30º45’N and mainly west of 114º20’W), an area rich and diverse in marine mammals.

Endangered-porpoise numbers fall to just 250. Time is running out for vanishing vaquitas: here.

3 thoughts on “Mexico, world’s smallest whale threatened by extinction

  1. Rare Mekong dolphin making a comeback

    PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodia’s rare Mekong dolphin is making a tentative comeback from the edge of extinction after net fishing was banned in its main habitat, Cambodian and World Wildlife Fund officials said on Wednesday.

    There are now about 160 dolphins, up from only 90 before net fishing was banned last year in the upper Mekong River in the eastern provinces of Kratie and Steung Treng borders, they said.

    The absence of gillnets strung in the river, allowing dolphins from other reaches of the river to move in, was the main reason for the sudden jump in numbers, the officials said.

    “We should have about 20 new babies born every year if the current trend continues,” Touch Seang Tana, chairman of Commission for Mekong Dolphins Conservation, told Reuters.

    “Within five years, we’ll be worried we will not have enough fish for dolphins to eat because humans also need fish,” he said.

    Fishing was banned in the area last year and local people encouraged to grow crops or work in the growing tourism industry instead of fishing.

    “The awareness, conservation and provision of alternative livelihoods to fishermen, have helped reduced adult mortalities,” the WWF said in a statement.

    Conservationists believe an estimated 1,000 dolphins, also known as Irrawady dolphins, live in India, Myanmar and Thailand.

    © Reuters 2007.

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  2. Pingback: Saving Mexico’s vaquita porpoises | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: New Marine Protected Area in Bangladesh | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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