Vaquita: The Harbor Porpoise of the Gulf of California, Mexico

by Peeko P.

VaquitaAlthough the Puget Sound is home to a vast amount of organisms and facilitates a lot of population recovery, there are still endangered species that are trying to survive due to certain aspects of the environment; improper fishing techniques and habitat destruction to name a few. One mammal species in the Puget Sound, the Harbor Porpoise, is directly affected by the aspects stated above. Harbor Porpoises are friendly little mammals ranging from five to five and a half feet long and weigh 135 to 170 pounds. There are about 3,509 harbor porpoises in Washington’s inland waters, which is not too bad especially compared to the population of Vaquita porpoises which reside only in the Gulf of California. Vaquitas are very similar to the Harbor Porpoises that reside in the Puget Sound.

Vaquitas are not only the most endangered cetacean in the world, they are one of the most endangered species in the world. These little fellas never fail to stop smiling because of their black coloration along their mouths that curve up to make them look like they are constantly smiling. They are the smallest know cetacean ranging from four to five feet in length and 65 to 100 pounds in weight, much smaller than the average human! Vaquitas also have the most limited habitat range of any marine cetacean. They only live in the Gulf of California, Mexico, where recently their population dropped below 200. Primary threats to vaquitas are fishing techniques, where they are accidently caught as by catch, and habitat destruction. Although their population is dwindling, they are being protected and trying to be restored by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and many other institutions and organizations.

Categories Science

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