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Vaquita Emergency!!!

NEWS FLASH - The Vaquita is Closer to Extinction Than We Thought – Only an Immediate and Total Gillnet Ban Can Save the Species!! Click here to read full story

Welcome to ¡VIVA Vaquita!

Our Mission is to Save The Vaquita!

The vaquita porpoise is considered by many to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. It is Critically Endangered with only 245 remaining in 2008 and less than 100 now! (CIRVA 2014). It is the smallest of only seven species of true porpoises, and is the only one that lives in warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found in a tiny area in the extreme northern Gulf of California, near Baja California, Mexico.

Listen to José Hernández from Mexico Speak for the Vaquita!

Why should we be worried?

In the last few decades, the small population has plummeted by about 8-19% per year, as gillnets set for fish and shrimp kill more porpoises than are born annually. These “invisible” gillnets trap the vaquitas and they drown. If rapid progress is not made, the vaquita may be extinct in a few short years. The very perilous situation of the vaquita has been recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Whaling Commission, Mexican Government, and United States Government.

Comment from the Austrian Commissioner at the 2012 International Whaling Commission Meeting:

We have had one very worst case scenario recently with the baiji, Mr. Chair. My fellow commissioners, we are on the brink of another worst case scenario with the vaquita in Mexico. How much greater must be the shame be when a highly-evolved species is on the brink of extinction again? Frankly, its time for diplomatic niceties and step-wise strategies to take a backseat to action. Our organization is about to be shamed. We will be under the eternal judgment from future generations if we fail.

We call on the IWC, range states, and NGOs to raise this issue to a higher level of resoluteness.

Can they be Saved?

Yes! Unlike some endangered species that have no place left to live in the wild, the vaquita's home in the Gulf of California is clean and healthy. The only real problem is the gillnets that entangle and kill vaquitas. If these can be moved out of the small area where vaquitas occur, the species will likely recover. We can save the vaquita!!

Learn how you can help the vaquita!



¡VIVAVaquita! is requesting marine mammal books, reprints, monographs, and journals. Literature can be donated or we can purchase sets of books, reprints, and journals. We make the literature available to colleagues working on marine mammals, getting it into hands where it will be actively used, and in the proccess help to raise funds for research and conservation work on the vaquita. Donations are tax-deductible, and we may be able to arrange pick-up of large quantities of literature. We are currently collecting literature to help fund our Sept/Oct 2013 expedition to San Felipe, and to conduct education work with local organizations and school groups in Mexico. If you have any literature you would be interested in donating or selling to us, please contact Tom Jefferson at

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since 1 Nov 2009

Last Update 12/3/14