Rescue plan for the vaquita

  • International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) recommended an emergency plan to help save the vaquita, a rare species of porpoise, from extinction in the northern Gulf of California.
  • The plan involves relocating some of the remaining vaquitas to a temporary sanctuary, while crucial efforts aimed at eliminating illegal fishing and removing gill nets from their environment continue.
  • The emergency action plan will be led by the Mexican government and supported by a consortium of marine mammal experts from more than a dozen organisations around the world.


  • Vaquitas are the smallest and most endangered species of the cetacean order and are endemic to the northern end of the Gulf of California.
  • The vaquita is somewhat stocky and has a classic porpoise shape.
  • The species is distinguishable by the dark rings surrounding their eyes, patches on their lips, and a line that extends from their dorsal fins to their mouths.
  • Their backs are a dark grey that fades to white undersides. As vaquitas mature, the shades of grey lighten.

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