When we hear news about animals becoming endangered, it really touches our hearts. We sometimes even try to do what we can to assist, although our individual options are sometimes limited.
On occasion, however, the issue goes beyond endangerment, and it ends up at a possible extinction event. That is what the International Whaling Organization is speaking about with the vaquita porpoise.
They have issued an extinction alert for this tiny porpoise because there are only around ten still surviving in the wild. They live on the Mexican Pacific Coast, and the numbers are alarming.
In many cases, these types of endangered species find themselves that way because of the loss of habitat or perhaps pollution. The vaquita porpoise is in danger because of something much more sinister.
Taking a Closer Look at the Problem
The use of illegal gillnets is common in that area. They use those gillnets to catch another fish that is also in danger of extinction, so they are really doing something horrible on two different levels.
These little porpoises are among some of the smallest marine mammals in existence. With only 10 left in the wild, the danger is real.
If you’ve never seen a vaquita porpoise before, they really are beautiful. Their dark-rimmed eyes have even earned them the name, ‘the panda of the sea.’
Hope on the Horizon
It is very hard to get an accurate count of the number of these porpoises still in existence. They tend to be elusive, but they do know that the numbers have been steady for the past several years.
There has even been the birth of a young porpoise recently, providing hope that they can come back from the brink of extinction. They tend to be resilient, and if the illegal use of gillnets is stopped, they may just have a chance to survive.
Of course, gillnets are not only dangerous for the vaquita porpoise, but they also pose a danger to a lot of marine life in the area.
It would be a shame to lose any animal, and these tiny little marine mammals are worth the fight. Let’s hope they are able to protect these porpoises so the population can rebound.Whizzco