Updated: Mar 30, 2020
You have probably never heard of a Vaquita (Pronounced, Va-Key-ta), well you're in luck, because that is all Im going to talk about in todays blog!
The Vaquita is a Cetacean (whale dolphin, or porpoise) that is not only endangered, but right on the verge of extinction. It is though that there are no more than 20 Vaquita's left in the world! The Vaquita is the rarest marine mammal in the world, and is illegally caught in fishing nets and then drowned.
Like most species, the Vaquita plays an important role in our world. According to https://wildfor.life/species/vaquita "Vaquitas exist as both predator and prey in their natural habitat. Preyed upon by members of the shark family, Vaquitas serve as important food sources for top predators. Conversely, they feed on species below them on the food chain—like small fish, squid, and crustaceans-- and help keep those populations in check.
Like with most animals, losing this species would be tragic. These are beautiful creatures and to give you a better idea about what you would be helping to save, here are some great facts about the Vaquita...
The Vaquita was first identified in 1958 by scientists
The word Vaquita means "Little cow" in Spanish
Fishing nets kill up to 15% of Vaquitas every year
According to worldwildlife.org, "The world’s smallest porpoise, Vaquitas measure up to five-feet long and weigh up to 120 lbs. The Vaquitas unique facial markings of a black ring around each eye, and black curved lips have been compared to a smiling panda. They're dark gray on their dorsal (top) surface, with pale gray sides and a white underside with light gray markings. Newborns generally have darker coloration."
How can you help? Well, I wish I could say it was simple, but it's not... Vaquita's main threat is totoaba fishing, and it has continued to increase. "WWF is asking for an immediate, increased response from the Mexican government. The World Heritage Committee, CITES Parties, NGOS, and civil society groups are asked to protect the last remaining Vaquita's and set the Upper Gulf of California on a path to recovery. Failure to act will result in the imminent extinction of the Vaquita. "
Just being educated is a lot of help, and we at 'The Road to Rescue' ask that you continue to spread the word!
A fun activity that would be much appreciated by us @TheRoadToRescue, is telling a friend or family member what you have learned in our blogs. Also telling your family and friends to share it with one of their friends or family. If people continue to share with others, and those people continue to share with more people, the whole world will be educated on Vaquitas (and so much more.)
Thank you for supporting The Road to Rescue.