Over the past few years I have been involved with international efforts to help call attention to the plight of the rarest marine mammal on earth, the vaquita porpoise. This beautiful sea creature from the Sea of Cortez is so rare, and its future so much in doubt, that the species could go extinct at any moment. Today there are just a few animals living in a very small area of the ocean, about 1100 square miles in size.
Vaquita rarely swim beyond their small shallow marine environment and have the most restricted range of any cetacean. None of the vaquitas that might be still alive today are monitored by GPS devices so the only way scientists can get an accurate count is by photo ID. Last October porpoise.org reported that a survey was underway, but no information has been made public since. According to the website 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. It is possible, though, that there no more than 10 vaquitas left. (For comparison, in 1997, the population was estimated to be about 600 individuals strong.)”
5 things you can do to help save the vaquita
Here are 5 things you can do to help the Vaquita on International Save the Vaquita Day, Saturday, July 18.
- Share this blog on social media.
- Discover how complex this rescue effort is by watching the free National Geographic documentary Sea of Shadows. After you watch it organize an awareness and take action campaign where you live.
- Support organizations working to save the Vaquita like the Porpoise Conservation Society.
- Support the team of conservation warriors risking their lives to save ocean animals every day aboard the Sea Shepherd.
- Stay informed and show your support conservation efforts by following this blog with your email address.