By Brian Stallard | October 9, 2015
A newly launched search in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez has reportedly found several vaquita marina porpoises, one of the most critically endangered animals in the world. This reassures conservationists that the vaquita isn’t extinct yet. However, that doesn’t mean the tiny animals are in good shape.
The vaquita has never exactly been an animal with huge numbers. The world’s smallest and rarest marine mammal, they live out their lives – often unnoticed – in the same Mexican waters frequented by commercial fishermen. Unfortunately, this makes them an exceptionally vulnerable species, impacted by human activity even more than most. According to the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC)Cetacean Specialist Group (CSG), the vaquitas numbered anywhere between 600 and 800 in the 1990s. However, they had recently disappeared so completely that many experts thought them extinct.
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