ICYMI: Captivity is NEVER the answer. Humans have pushed this species to the brink of #extinction and now we need to do something drastic to save the 30 remaining #vaquita left in the wild. We should not be focusing on removing them from their natural environment but rather, we should focus on permanently removing the human threats from their ecosystem.
#Repost @inherentlywild ”On October 12th scientists and veterinarians of VaquitaCPR set out in the upper Gulf of California to locate and capture vaquita porpoises. Equipped with lightweight nets, 87 acoustic sensors and four U.S Navy dolphins, the rescue operation successfully located two vaquitas, both of which had unfortunate outcomes.
Just over a week after the launch of the rescue effort, on October 20th, a female calf was successfully captured and placed into a temporary holding pen. Unfortunately, the six-month-old vaquita exhibited symptoms of suffering from stress, such as an increased heart hate and erratic behaviour, and so had to be released.
Following this failed attempt, on November 4th, a second vaquita was captured. Determined to be an adult female of reproductive age by veterinarians, she too exhibited signs of suffering from extreme stress. Unfortunately, before the team could successfully release her, she died merely a few hours after her capture. Less than 30 vaquitas remain in the wild, fewer still who are of breeding age, making this death particularly devastating.
It appears as though vaquitas are particularly vulnerable to stressful situations and are unable to acclimatise to confinement and human contact. If this trend persists, the vaquita will not be able to avoid extinction.”
Photos: Vaquita calf (1 & 2) followed by the adult female who recently died (3). Courtesy of @vaquitacpr