A Caring World




Saving the Vaquita (a Mexican Porpoise)

The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a darling little porpoise that swims in Mexican waters, in the Gulf of California. iViva Vaquita, an organization trying to help this porpoise, refers to the vaquita's situation as a conservation emergency. That is 100% true. The vaquita is not only the rarest porpoise in existence, it "is considered by most to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world." (iViva Vaquita). According to the Porpoise Conservation Society, there are 30 vaquitas left. That's it. Species of animals are considered to be in trouble when they exist in the thousands. But there are only 30 left.

Vaquita are tiny, compared to many marine mammals, only reaching up to 5 feet in length. The bodies are gray with dark areas, including one around the eye. They usually like to swim alone, or with a partner, but at times have been spotted in larger groups. They like to eat fish and squid.

Vaquitas are amazing creatures. They use echolocation, which means they send out sounds through their foreheads. The sounds bounce off of objects and come back to them. This process forms a pictures in their mind about their environment. Echolocation is also used as a way of communication between members of the species.

Q: I'm not a porpoise, so why should I care?

A: Imagine if this planet only had humans living on it and nothing else. Precious creatures make this world a special place to live. They add beauty to it and make it interesting. These porpoises are in grave danger because of the actions of humans. Therefore, it is up to humans to help them.

Q: Why is the vaquita is such serious trouble?

A: The Porpoise Conservation Society states that "the single most significant threat to the vaquita's survival is accidental entanglement. The small animal frequently gets caught in fixed fishing nets (gill-nets), as by-catch...This threat is accelerated by illegal fishing for another endangered species that lives in the vaquita habitat, the totoaba."

Q: I don't live in Mexico. I don't even live near the ocean. What can I do?

A: There are various ways to help. Here are a few suggestions

1) You can create a web site about the vaquita, providing info and ways to help.

2) Tell people about the vaquita on social media and provide links to web sites of organizations trying to help.

3) Symbolic Adoptions (Sponsorships)
A really fun way to help is by adopting (sponsoring) a vaquita. That way you can get a picture and information. Adoptions (sponsorships) differ according to the organization. Most just require a one-time fee that is low and is good for a year.

Adoption Programs:

.Save the Whales
I personally have "adopted" the vaquita from the organization above and was pleased with the package that I received.

.Porpoise.org

4) You can make a donation to an organization trying to help. That way you can decide how much to pay.

5) Use an Internet search engine and see if there are any active petitions helping the vaquita. (There have been some in the past.) You can also sign petitions that focus on keeping the oceans clean and free from oil.

6) Volunteer to work for an organization helping the vaquita. If you don't live near the Gulf of Mexico, ask if they have opportunities to help via the Internet. Although this creature lives in Mexico, organizations in various countries exist.

To learn more about the Vaquita, visit the following:

Porpoise.org- Save the Vaquita

World Wildlife Fund- Vaquita: Overview

Viva Vaquita: The Vaquita Porpoise- A Conservation Emergency

Sources:
iViva Vaquita, Website: Viva Vaquita, Homepage: http://www.vivavaquita.org/

World Wildlife Fund, Web page: Vaquita: Overview, https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/vaquita

S Elvin and D. Luke (2016), Where is the Vaquita? Unite For Literacy. Created with help from Association for Zoos and Aquariums. http://www.uniteforliteracy.com/aza/safe/book?BookId=1303

Mom.me, How Do Dolphins Use Sonar? http://animals.mom.me/dolphins-use-sonar-5591.html

Porpoise Conservation Society, Homepage: http://porpoise.org/
Disclaimer

Table of Choices

Graphic: Vaquitas on the Move, by Sharon Lee Hudson

A Caring World: (c) Sharon Lee Hudson