by: Tiana Peralta

Tiana Marie

4th Period

March 4, 2015

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Scientific Name:

Phocoena sinus
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Distinguishing Facts:

  • the smallest and rarest of the cetaceans - which include whales, dolphins, and porpoises
  • gray body with a pale gray or white belly and a dark patch around its eye
  • rarely seen in the wild


northern extreme of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), Mexico
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Status: Critically Endangered

At a meeting in July 2014, an international recovery team advising the Government of Mexico warned that time is rapidly running out. Unless drastic action is taken immediately, the vaquita will be lost.


The estimated number of individuals dropped below 100 in 2014.


Ocean fish such as Gulf croaker and bronze-striped grunts. They are also known to eat squid. Vaquitas may use echolocation to locate prey. It also is possible they locate their prey by following the sounds of prey movement

What's killing them?

Directed fishing, accidental bycatch in nets set for fish and reduction of food supplies due to fishing threaten this species. In addition, the vaquita is possibly affected by reductions in water flow into the Gulf of California from the Colorado River, and pesticide pollution is suspected as a potential problem.


Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) are a priority species. They are one of the most ecologically, economically and/or culturally important species on our planet. And so we are working to ensure such species can live and thrive in their natural habitats


  • Save The Whales Foundation
  • WWF Global