Vaquita

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Vaquita
Temporal range: Holocene
[1]
Vaquita4 Olson NOAA.jpg
Vaquita size.svg
Size compared to an average human
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Infraorder: Cetacea
Family: Phocoenidae
Genus: Phocoena
Species:
P. sinus
Binomial name
Phocoena sinus
Cetacea range map Vaquita.PNG
Vaquita range

Vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a rare type of porpoise. It lives only in the Gulf of California. It is the world's smallest cetacean and most endangered marine mammal.[3] The Vaquita is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.[4] Forty years ago, the Vaquita population was estimated to have 1000 living individuals. Current research has shown that from 1990 to now (2021), the population has dropped from close to 500 individuals down to 20 or less.[5] The species is most under threat from illegal fishing activities that are taking place in the Gulf; ongoing bycatch in gillnets used to catch shrimp and to poach the endangered totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi).[6]

Look[change | change source]

Vaquita have a dark coloring around the eyes and mouth. The upper side of the body is medium to dark gray. The underside is off-white to light gray. It has a rather large fin on its back for its size. The Vaquita is the smallest type of porpoise in the world, growing up to 5 feet long and weighing up to 120 pounds.

Feeding[change | change source]

Vaquita feed on small, bottom-dwelling fish and squid.

Life[change | change source]

They live alone or in small groups, usually of about three, but sometimes they live in groups of up to ten.

References[change | change source]

  1. Fossilworks Database. "Fossilworks". Fossilworks Gateway to paleotology. John Alory. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  2. Rojas-Bracho, L.; Taylor, B.L. (2017). "Phocoena sinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2017: e.T17028A50370296. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T17028A50370296.en. Retrieved 18 February 2019. (previous version)
  3. Dunch, Victoria (2019-08-01). "Saving the vaquita one bite at a time: The missing role of the shrimp consumer in vaquita conservation". Marine Pollution Bulletin. 145: 583–586. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2019.06.043. ISSN 0025-326X.
  4. Cisneros-Mata, Miguel A.; Delgado, Juan A.; Rodríguez-Félix, Demetrio (2021-04-16). "Viability of the vaquita, Phocoena sinus (Cetacea: Phocoenidae) population, threatened by poaching of Totoaba macdonaldi (Perciformes: Sciaenidae)". Revista de Biología Tropical. 69 (2). doi:10.15517/rbt.v69i2.45475. ISSN 2215-2075.
  5. Cisneros-Mata, Miguel A.; Delgado, Juan A.; Rodríguez-Félix, Demetrio (2021-04-16). "Viability of the vaquita, Phocoena sinus (Cetacea: Phocoenidae) population, threatened by poaching of Totoaba macdonaldi (Perciformes: Sciaenidae)". Revista de Biología Tropical. 69 (2). doi:10.15517/rbt.v69i2.45475. ISSN 2215-2075.
  6. Cisneros-Mata, Miguel A.; Delgado, Juan A.; Rodríguez-Félix, Demetrio (2021-04-16). "Viability of the vaquita, Phocoena sinus (Cetacea: Phocoenidae) population, threatened by poaching of Totoaba macdonaldi (Perciformes: Sciaenidae)". Revista de Biología Tropical. 69 (2). doi:10.15517/rbt.v69i2.45475. ISSN 2215-2075.