The Vaquita is the smallest mammal in the world, this species is part of the porpoise family. In recent decades this species had had an estimated 1,000 individuals living, until 1996, when it was classified as critically endangered. And more recently, it has been announced that there are only 10 remaining Vaquitas in the world, and they’re the northern part of the Gulf of California in Mexico. The Vaquita population has rapidly declined, due to illegal overfishing.
One specific technique for overfishing is using a large net to catch as many fish as possible. However, while this method is effective, the nets are catching other animals as well such as sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, dolphins, and Vaquitas. When a Vaquita is caught in a net, it drowns since it is a mammal and needs to breathe air. .
The other threat to Vaquitas are large predators. Vaquita’s main predators are large sharks and killer whales. Usually, a dolphin or porpoise will stay in packs, so they are not preyed on as easily. However, because of their already small population, the vaquita can not stay in a group or pack to protect themselves.
Is it too late to save the Vaquita population? The answer is no, it’s not too late. Their population may be declining, but if the conservation efforts work, they may be able to thrive again. The Vaquita is known as the rarest animal in the entire world, but there is hope to increase their population.