~ The Vaquita ~

Vaquitas are found only in shallow lagoons in and around the Colorado River delta in the northern Gulf of California and Mexico. They are locally known as the Gulf of California Porpoise, or Cochito.

Studies on these animals are difficult because of the few sightings that actually occur over long periods of searching for these elusive creatures. Vaquita, like some other porpoise species, may avoid boats.

The Vaquita is one of the smaller cetacean species, growing to only 5 feet. Its triangular fin is large in comparison to the rest of its body, and at first sight may even be mistaken for a shark's fin.

Sadly, most encounters with the Vaquita have been with dead animals caught accidentally in gill nets.

Despite bans, illegal gill netting has persisted for many years. The Mexican government established the Upper Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve in 1993 to help protect the Vaquita and its habitat. It remains to be seen if there are enough of these animals left to save the species.

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