The Vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus), is a porpoise endemic only to the Sonoran Desert.

These incredibly adorable little harbor porpoises are going extinct very quickly. Researchers are unable to determine for sure, but their numbers are suspected to be in the 100-3oo range.

It is the smallest porpoise of the family, and spend their lives in the Gulf of California – surprisingly, a part of the majestic Sonoran Desert.

But life is not one easy swim for these little water mammals. Every year, many Vaquitas are trapped in gilnets and drown, unable to escape the net for air.

The rapid decrease in population over the decades has taken a toll on the porpoises in more ways than one. Not only are their numbers plummeting directly from the gilnets themselves, but also because of the lack of breeding the porpoises are doing. There aren’t enough “fish in the sea” so to speak for the Vaquita. As a last resort, the Vaquita have taken to inbreeding to keep the species alive, which takes a serious mental and even emotional toll on the porpoises, causing them to breed less and less.

Officially on the governmental endangered species list, Conservation efforts are being forged by several organizations to keep this species alive.

Want to get involved? Here are some resources for more information and what YOU can do to save this species:

Cousteu Vaquita Conservation

Vaquita Conservation

Vaquita Marina – a site in Spanish AND English

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society – Vaquita Search

One response

  1. goldenliontamarin | Reply

    Great post! I just want to point out, however, that the first picture in this post is of Harbor Porpoises, Phocoena phocoena, not Vaquitas. The Vaquita is so elusive that no photos or videos have ever been taken of them alive under water. Thanks for the post!

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