Vaquita

about 5 feet in length. Not a great deal is known about them. The species inhabits an area in the northern Gulf of California, with Baja California on one side and mainland Mexico on the other. Only discovered in 1958, the animal was never very common. In 1997 there were still an estimated six hundred Vaquitas. Now it is the rarest marine mammal in the world, in imminent danger of extinction. There are fewer than thirty of them left. The main cause of its population decline has been vaquitas getting entangled in gill nets used in fishing, which drowns them. The Mexican government has banned the use of gill nets and has spent millions trying to save the species. Mexico has partnered with a number of international conservation organizations, but nothing has arrested the fast decline of the animal’s numbers. Extinction within the next few years is almost certain.

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