Unless we act fast, the vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise species, could go extinct within the next three years!
New estimates place the global population of these pint-sized cetaceans at around 50 animals. That’s fewer than half as many vaquitas as scientists had believed. And at current rates of loss, scientists predict the vaquita could be extinct by 2018!
TAKE ACTION: Urge Interior Secretary Jewell and Secretary of State Kerry to take immediate action to prevent this tragic extinction!
Vaquitas live in shallow waters in the northern Gulf of California, between the Baja Peninsula and the Mexican mainland. The primary threat to vaquitas is illegal fishing for another critically endangered species, a fish called the totoaba. The swim bladders of the totoaba are considered a delicacy in China, where these fish parts fetch more money per ounce than gold. In other words, vaquitas are going extinct because they are bycatch – accidental victims – of pervasive illegal fishing operations in their habitat.
Both the vaquita and totoaba are protected by international treaties restricting trade in endangered species. Tragically, many of the illegally obtained totoaba swim bladders are transported through U.S. ports. By curtailing this illegal trade, we can give the vaquita a fighting chance for a future by eliminating their deaths as bycatch.
Tell the U.S. government to take immediate action to stop the illegal wildlife trade transiting through the U.S. to China to help ensure the survival and recovery of the vaquita!
We’re in a race against time if these littlest dolphins are to be saved.