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Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Vaquita

One animal on the rare species list is the vaquita. The vaquita is a rare species of porpoise. They live in the northern part of the Gulf of California. The name vaquita is spanish for "little cow". The animal is also known as a cochito which means "little pig", the desert porpoise, the Gulf of California harbor porpoise, Gulf of California porpoise and the gulf porpoise.

In 1996 the vaquita was listed on the critically endangered species list. At that time there was estimated about 600 in 1996 and by 1997 there was below 100 in existence. In march of 2018 there is only about 12 remaining. Unless drastic actions are taken the vaquita will no longer exist.

The main reason that the vaquita is disappearing is because of the illegal gillnet fishery searching for the totoaba. The totoaba is also critically endangered. The Mexican government has put millions of dollars into efforts to eliminate this illegal action. A ban on the gillnet is currently on the books.

Vaquitas are the small but stocky and are porpoise shaped. Distinguished marks include dark rings surrounding their eyes, patches on lips and a line that extends from their dorsal fin to their mouth The grey color of this fish fades as they grow older Females are normally larger in size than their male counterpart.

Vaquitas communicate with others with a high pitched sound. They live leisurely as they feed and swim at their own pace. They will avoid boats and often are very evasive if contact is made. They often live alone unless they swim with their calf.

Find out more about the actions to protect the Vaquita

This endangered animal informational post shared at
Make Pretty Monday 

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