Photo credit Paula Olson, permit Oficio No. DR/488/08 from the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)
Status: Critically Endangered
- The vaquita, a small porpoise found only in the Gulf of California in Mexico, is one of the most critically endangered marine mammals in the world.
- The population was last assessed in 1997 and estimated at 500-600 individuals, but is now thought to be below 200.
- The biggest threat to vaquitas is accidental trapping in fishing equipment. They’re also threatened by habitat change and water pollution.
What the AZA Community is Doing
- In the past five years alone, the AZA community has invested over $50,000 in vaquita conservation.
- Most projects involve assessing wild populations, creating photo and video records, and conservation education programs.
- AZA SAFE will further these efforts by harnessing the collective power of the 229 AZA member institutions and our 180 million visitors, connecting partners, and creating and executing a conservation action plan to help vaquitas in the wild.
How You Can Help
Spread the word! Let your friends and family know that vaquitas need our help.
Visit: Your visit to an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium not only supports the well-being of the animals you see, but also supports conservation efforts. Find an institution near you
Guess who? Download our free TailsUp! app and play with your friends. It’s free to download but offers in-app purchases – and 100% of AZA’s proceeds supports conservation work. Available on the iTunes store and Google Play.