17 November 2007

Last Chance for the Vaquita

Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), critically endangered

Way back in February, I blogged about the 'little cows' or Vaquitas, which live only in the upper regions of the Gulf of California. At that time, their numbers were estimated to be under 400. That number has dropped to an estimated 150, although it's possible this number may be lower.

Then, as now, the greatest danger to the Vaquita is accidental death in the nets of fishing crews. At least 40, and possibly more, are killed each year as by catch. Scientists say that at least 100 Vaquitas must survive to preserve enough genetic diversity for the porpoises to prosper. That leaves, optimistically, only two years in which a turn around must occur. While there have been efforts in the past to create zones where fishing is not allowed, they have failed.

Now, in a last ditch effort to save the Vaquita, WWF, Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, and the Mexican government have pledged $14 million to buy boats and nets that kill the Vaquita, and developing economic alternatives for local fishermen. If this and other efforts do not work, the Vaquita will go extinct.

Here's an article with more info.

Support the survival of the Vaquita (cheque only).

1 comment:

Denisse said...

I have recently become familiar with the subject of the Vaquita. It is depressing to see how we are damaging our world in many ways and senses. The Vaquita is unique specie which is found in just one place in the world which makes at the same time that the number of specimens has been reduce. The Vaquita is not just a one place specie is part of the whole world. It matters to everyone.

I found a website were people can help by nominating and voting for a project that support this cause.