We are on the brink of losing the vaquitas forever. More than half of the known vaquita population has died in the last three years and there are estimated to be less than 100 vaquitas left in the world. The vaquita could become extinct, possibly by 2018. Nearly one in five vaquitas gets entangled and drowns in illegal gillnets intended for other marine species. Other causes of death could be habitat change through the damming of the Colorado River and resulting reductions of water flow into their home and possible contamination by agricultural pesticides.
In April 2015, the Mexican government began a two-year ban on gillnet fishing in the vaquita habitat, enforced by the Mexican navy, along with a program to repay the fishermen who would be affected by the ban. Conservation organizations around the world have helped and are now asking for the ban to be made permanent.
The 2015 vaquita survey found that 7 out of 10 vaquitas have been lost since the last survey in 2008. However, the report also notes that the gillnet ban appears to be working as the vaquita habitat is now essentially gillnet-free, thanks to strict enforcement by the Mexican navy. But the vaquita is still in danger.
What can we do? I can't do anything because I'm just a little dog but you can find out more about the vaquitas and ask your parents to support the efforts to save the vaquitas and help them recover to a healthy number. There is more information on the Internet on how you can help. The vaquitas and I thank you!