THE Most Endangered Marine Mammal: Only 22 Vaquitas Left.
THE most endangered marine mammal.
Per the LATimes: "Only 22 vaquitas remain in the Gulf of California, where a grim, increasingly violent battle is playing out between emboldened fishermen and the last line of defense for the smallest and most endangered porpoise in the world. Every night 22 volunteer crew members from ships operated by the environmentalist group Sea Shepherd go out to search for illegal gill nets and trapped porpoises, (all while fending off ) attacks in which dozens of fast fishing boats pounded the ship with rocks and firebombs."
Other facts: They are small, usually 4-5 ft in length, its name means ‘little cow' in Spanish, up to 15% die in illegal gillnets every year, and like most cetaceans they do not fare well in captivity so scientists have preserved vaquita cells to sequence their genome once they are gone.