Mexico Announces Capture of Rare Vaquita Porpoise
“El Nido”, or The Nest, is a circular sanctuary 40 meters in diameter that is being used as part of a project to protect the endangered vaquita, a rare species of porpoise that’s native to the waters off the north coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. (New China TV)
Update: Endangered Vaquita Porpoise Dies in Captivity (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mexico said Saturday it had captured a rare vaquita marina porpoise - a female of reproductive age - as part of a last-ditch bid to save the critically endangered species.
The vaquita, the world's smallest porpoise, has been pushed to the brink of extinction by illegal gillnet fishing and there are just 30 left in the wild.
The Mexican government and conservation groups have launched an unprecedented plan to save the species by transporting as many as possible to a protected marine reserve.
"The @VaquitaCPR team has managed to capture another vaquita marina," Mexican Environment Minister Rafael Pacchiano tweeted, adding that the animal is in the care of veterinarians.
A six-month old calf - the first vaquita ever captured - was caught last month but had to be released as it was too young to be separated from its mother.
However the second porpoise "is an adult female and of reproductive age," Pacchiano said on Twitter.
"It's a great achievement that fills us with hope."
... In all, the government has committed more than $100 million to protecting the vaquita while supporting the local fishing community.
Read the rest at New Straits Times
Related: Trump Administration Sued Over Stalling to Protect Sea Turtles (Daily Excelsior)
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