Vaquita Porpoise

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Vaquita Porpoise Blog Image


Recently, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) issued its first ‘extinction alert’ on the vaquita porpoise.

About Vaquita Porpoise


  • It is the world’s smallest cetacean.
  • It is unique among the porpoises as it is the only species of that family found in warm waters, and the size of the dorsal fin is believed to be an adaptation to that, allowing for extra body heat to dissipate.
  • The name vaquita means "little cow" in Spanish.
  • Habitat
    • It has the smallest range of any whale, dolphin or porpoise, and only lives in a small 1,500 square-mile area in Mexico’s upper Gulf of California, near the town of San Felipe.
  • Appearance
    • It has a large dark ring around its eyes and dark patches on its lips that form a thin line from the mouth to the pectoral fins.
    • It only measures up to five feet in size.
  • Threat
    • The vaquita population has been declining precipitously for decades due to bycatch in gillnet set to catch shrimp and fish, including totoaba.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Critically Endangered
    • CITES: Appendix I


Key facts about International Whaling Commission

  • It was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) which was signed in Washington DC in 1946.
  • Objective: To provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.
  • Headquarter: Impington, near Cambridge, England.


Q1) What are Cetaceans?

Cetaceans are a group of marine mammals that include whales, dolphins, and porpoises. They are well-adapted to life in aquatic environments and have a variety of unique features that enable them to thrive in the ocean.

Source: Plight of the vaquita forces International Whaling Commission to issue first extinction alert