FIRST VAQUITA RES­CUED IN THE HOPES OF SAV­ING THE EN­DAN­GERED SPECIES

Asian Diver (English) - - What Bubbled -

A six-month-old vaquita calf was res­cued in the Gulf of Cal­i­for­nia by the Con­sor­tium for Vaquita Con­ser­va­tion, Pro­tec­tion, and Re­cov­ery (VaquitaCPR). The or­gan­i­sa­tion was cre­ated to de­velop and im­ple­ment an ur­gent con­ser­va­tion action plan aimed at pre­vent­ing the species from go­ing ex­tinct. The vaquita is the small­est por­poise in the world, and also the most en­dan­gered cetacean at the mo­ment, liv­ing only in the up­per Gulf of Cal­i­for­nia.

As part of the bold con­ser­va­tion plan by the Mex­i­can govern­ment to save the en­dan­gered species, much plan­ning by the team of sci­en­tists and con­ser­va­tion­ists went into the res­cue, us­ing vis­ual search meth­ods and acous­tic mon­i­tor­ing.

Un­for­tu­nately, the marine mam­mal vet­eri­nar­i­ans on site ob­served that the calf started to show signs of stress, and it was re­leased out of cau­tion and re­turned to the spot it was found. Be­fore its re­lease, sci­en­tists took var­i­ous tis­sue sam­ples for anal­y­sis, which will be used for fur­ther re­search.

On Novem­ber 4, a fe­male was cap­tured and sub­se­quently died from com­pli­ca­tions. VaquitaCPR an­nounced it would halt all fur­ther res­cue at­tempts as of Novem­ber 10. They now fo­cus on con­duct­ing pho­to­graphic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of in­di­vid­ual an­i­mals.

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