California porpoise on the brink of extinction. Only 30 individuals remain

California porpoise on the brink of extinction. Only 30 individuals remain

The California porpoise is one of the smallest cetaceans. It is called „panda mórz” due to the dark circuitsódki wokół eyes. It is an endemic species and inhabits only coastal regions in póThe northern part of the Gulf of California. In 1999, the population of this species was estimated at about 560 individualsów, however, the situation of the species has significantly worsened. Currently there are only 30.

In the Red Book maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN), whichóra contains a list of speciesóin plants and animals at risk of extinction, the California porpoise is categorized as critically endangered.

HeadóThe California harbor porpoise is threatened by incidental catches. Juveniles are often caught in fisherman’s netsów. Plus, according to the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA), they are also threatened by poachers.

"At this rate of population decline, the porpoise will be extinct by 2022, and this despite the ban on gillnets and prób his enforcement. The already dramatic situation has worsened further" – reads the report cited by AFP.

Gill nets are bottom nets set vertically and loaded with weights. They often stretch for several kilometersów. The Gulf of California is used for illegal fishingów fish from another endangered species – totoab. On occasion, California porpoises are caught in them.

California researchers, in order to preserve the species, intend to capture a few individualsów and put them in a marine enclosure where they could reproduce. The idea has been bombarded by environmentalistów, whichóers say the little cetaceans won’t survive it.