Prevent the Imminent Extinction of the Vaquita Porpoise in Mexico!
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The vaquita is a small porpoise that can only be found in the Upper Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in Mexico. The species is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is facing imminent extinction due to accidental entanglement in illegal gillnets set by poachers.
Fewer than 20 individuals of this species remain, and the population continues to decline at an alarming rate.
All efforts by the Mexican government and NGOs to counter the threat to the vaquita and reduce the rate of decline have so far been unsuccessful. Experts agree that the only way to save the species is to take immediate and decisive action: remove gillnets from the Sea of Cortez, step up efforts to enforce the existing gillnet ban and prosecute those that violate it. With a new president elected into office just days ago, it is now absolutely vital to reinforce to the Mexican government that there is no time to take a break. The vaquita will join the baiji river dolphin and go extinct under the world’s eyes if the Mexican government does not take its commitment to saving the vaquita seriously and act now. It needs to act today, as the last vaquita may drown in a gillnet tomorrow.
“The world is watching as the endangered vaquita porpoise in the Sea of Cortez is approaching extinction. This is our very last chance to prevent the loss of a unique species that is just as important to the identity of the region of Mexico it calls home as it is to humanity and as a piece in the vast and amazing tapestry of biodiversity on this planet. We call on the Mexican government to drastically step up its efforts to take immediate, decisive and effective action to end the gillnet threat once and for all; to put much needed resources towards the strict enforcement of the existing gillnet ban and to prosecute those that violate it to the full extent of the law. Do not wait for others to solve this problem. Do not waste precious time. Every single day counts. Do not let it be your legacy that you let the only cetacean endemic to Mexico go extinct on your watch.
¡Viva la vaquita marina!”
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