Researchers Catch A Rare Glimpse Of The Endangered Vaquita

Researchers catch a rare glimpse of the vaquita porpoise. CreditOscar Ortiz/Museo de la Ballena y Ciencias del Mar

The vaquita porpoise is currently the most endangered species in the world and researchers are doing everything they can to try and save the species.

Teams currently are out in the Gulf of California and were relieved to find the small porpoises after they failed to see any in the last two years when an estimated 30 vaquita remained in the world.

The cause of the mammals demise is to be blamed on illegal fishing and since the 2016 encounter, seven vaquita have been confirmed to die or been killed and experts fear that more have been entangled in gill nets and drowned.

During the latest expedition, researchers from NOAA at least eight total vaquita which included a mother and her calf surface at sea as well as two more adults males

The calf sightings were of the utmost improtantes as they provide evidence that the species is still breeding and that the mammal can produce calfs annually which scientists were previously unsure of.

The fall of the vaquita has been related to the illegal trade of the totoaba fish. The totoaba’s bladder is worth a fortune in China, with bladders fetching up to $20,000 per kilogram each on the Chinese black market. The swim bladder of the totoaba is used in Chinese medicine.

The hope for the vaquita is very grim and is a byproduct of politicians and law enforcement over-looking the illegal fishing practices for years. If the species is to leave us, it is vital to remember what greed can do to wildlife and we must do everything to protect future species that are vulnerable.

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