Vaquita Project 2017

Dear Grupo Cleofas Donor,

In Fall of 2017, Grupo Cleofas will assisting the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). More information will be added soon.

Thank you for your interest,

Greg Alker
Director/CEO, Grupo Cleofas

What is a Vaquita?

The vaquita is a small porpoise (whales, dolphins, and porpoises are called cetaceans by scientists). It is one of only seven species of true porpoises, and is the only one that occurs in warm waters of the eastern Pacific. It is found in a tiny area in the extreme northern Gulf of California, near Baja California, Mexico. It is a unique species, with a body shape and color pattern unlike that of any other. It has a tall dorsal fin (for a porpoise) and a beautiful color pattern on the face, with dark eye rings and lip patches that look like an application of “goth” make-up. There is only one small population, and if the species goes extinct, it will be gone forever.

Why should we be worried?

The vaquita has probably always been rare. But in the last few decades, the small population has plummeted by about 8-19%/year, as gillnets set for fish and shrimp kill more porpoises than are born. The population in 2014 was estimated to be only 97 individuals, and is declining quickly. If rapid progress is not made, the vaquita will be extinct in a few short years. The very perilous situation of the vaquita has been recognized by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which lists it as Critically Endangered), the Mexican government, and the US government (both of which list the vaquita as Endangered).

Vaquita Endangered Porpoise Science Documentary Project

Check out the video by the Vaquita Endangered Porpoise Science Documentary Project:

Additional Information

See the links below for additional information on the vaquita porpoise and efforts to save them from extinction.

¡Viva Vaquita!

Vaquita Endangered Porpoise Science Documentary Project

Cetos Resource Organization

Intituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático

Save the Whales

NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

American Cetacean Society

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