Scientists Spot Six Near-extinct Vaquita Marinas
Mexico City, Sept 10 (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Sep, 2019 ) :Scientists said Monday they have spotted six vaquita marinas, one of the most endangered animals on Earth, off the coast of Mexico, reviving hopes for the survival of the world's smallest porpoise.
The vaquita has been nearly wiped out by illegal fishing in its native habitat, the Gulf of California, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned last year that it could soon go extinct.
"This research work is extremely important to show the world that vaquitas are still alive and strong," said Eva Hidalgo, scientific coordinator for the conservation group Sea Shepherd, which led the study along with various Mexican institutions and government agencies.
Scientists estimate there may be as few as 30 vaquitas left.
The scientists released photographs and videos of vaquitas frolicking in pairs near the water's surface.
"To see vaquitas alive is a relief and shows that we must continue to protect the species," said Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, head of the Mexican Vaquita Research Program.
The vaquita is known as the "panda of the sea" for the distinctive black circles around its eyes.