[17][18] However, the biggest threat still towards vaquita are fisheries. Scientists can identify individual vaquitas based on a single feature. The species is also protected under the US Endangered Species Act, the Mexican Official Standard NOM-059 (Norma Oficial Mexicana) , and Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. Today, the species is on the brink of extinction. An increasing number of species in addition to the vaquita have maintained small but stable populations for long periods without suffering from inbreeding depression. [6] Genome sequencing from an individual captured in 2017 indicates that the ancestral vaquitas had already gone through a major population bottleneck in the past, which may explain why the few remaining individuals are still healthy despite the very low population size. Share. These are some of the biggest questions scientists face when studying populations. To learn more about the vaquita and conservation efforts visit: "Vaquitas and gillnets: Mexico's ultimate cetacean conservation challenge", "IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Vaquita", "A New Harbor Porpoise of the Genus Phocoena from the Gulf of California", "Secuenciar el genoma de la vaquita marina es la esperanza para su conservación", "Saving the Vaquita: Immediate Action, Not More Data", "Decline towards extinction of Mexico's vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus)", "Report of the Eleventh meeting of the Comité Internacional para la Recuperación de la Vaquita (CIRVA)", "The Vaquita Porpoise: A Conservation Emergency", "Sexual dimorphism and developmental patterns in the external morphology of the vaquita,Phocoena sinus", "An integrated ecosystem trophic model for the North and Central Gulf of California: An alternative view for endemic species conservation", "Vaquita – IUCN – SSC Cetacean Specialist Group", "A field effort to capture critically endangered vaquitas Phocoena sinus for protection from entanglement in illegal gillnets", "U.S. Government Expands Mexican Seafood Ban to Save Vaquita Porpoise", "Vaquita: The Business of Extinction (article and 25-min. That's a scenario in which their limited genetic diversity makes it impossible to recover. The Mexican government, international committees, scientists, and conservation groups have recommended and implemented plans to help reduce the rate of bycatch, enforce gillnet bans, and promote population recovery. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2'); }); Gillnet fisheries have entangled and killed many vaquitas in recent years and scientists believe that fewer than 20 of the small porpoises survive today. By Brianna Maloney / October 26, 2020 October 26, 2020 / Whale Science / Conservation, Toothed whales, vaquita. The vaquita, a tiny marine mammal found in the Gulf of California, is almost extinct. Recent research estimates the population at fewer than 10 individuals. The vaquita is the most endangered cetacean in the world. Scientists have warned that the vaquita will be lost unless Mexico fully and permanently bans all gillnets in the animal’s habitat and massively steps up enforcement. The new analysis examined living tissue from a vaquita captured as part of a last-ditch international 2017 effort to save the fast-disappearing species. [7], The smallest living species of cetacean, the vaquita can be easily distinguished from any other species in its range. "They've survived like this for at least 250,000 years," said Barbara Taylor, research scientist at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center. "It's appearing to be more common than we thought that species can do just fine at low numbers over long periods," said Morin, who credited the vaquita findings to genetic experts around the world who contributed to the research. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no The US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced today that it will ban imports of Mexican shrimp and other seafood caught in the habitat of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. The advent of gillnetting for fish and shrimp only a few decades ago drove vaquitas towards extinction, as they are incidentally caught in the nets. The vaquita (Phocoena sinus), literally "little cow", is a species of porpoise endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez, Vermilion Sea). Now advanced genetic tools that have emerged with the rapidly increasing power of new computer technology helped them prove the point. [14][15][16], The drastic decline in vaquita abundance is the result of fisheries bycatch in commercial and illegal gillnets, including fisheries targeting the now-endangered totoaba, shrimp, and other available fish species. Last week marked the completion of a collaborative effort aimed at removing abandoned fishing gear from the habitat of the critically endangered vaquita porpoise. The most recent field effort in fall 2019 spotted about nine individuals, including three calves, within their core habitat. For International Save … Twitter. They only live in the waters around Mexico. Let’s save the vaquita in 2020! The world’s smallest porpoise was only discovered in 1958 and a little over half a century later, they are on the brink of extinction. Can you be injected with two different vaccines? [18], The vaquita is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. A … Your opinions are important to us. [21], To date, efforts have been unsuccessful in solving the complex socioeconomic and environmental issues that affect vaquita conservation and the greater Gulf of California ecosystem. Safe for our body send in your vaquita extinct 2020 opinion to Science X editors of inbreeding or other often... 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