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#33 Vaquita

Critically Endangered

These are not yet extinct, but unfortunately they probably will be soon. They are the the smallest porpoise in the world and have the smallest range of any porpoises, dolphins or whales, a small area of the northern part of the Gulf of California. In 2017 there were possibly 30 left, but in 2018 scientists only saw 6, one of which was a calf. Some estimates say there may only be 10 left. Illegal fishing for the Totoaba's swim bladder (a delicacy in China) means the Vaquita gets caught accidentally in gill nets used to poach the fish. The Vaquita is smaller than the Totoaba which is also critically endangered (you'll see it tomorrow) The Vaquita is only about 5' long, at least a foot and a half smaller than the fish.

My parents live on the Oregon coast and we often get to see whales there. It is amazing how the smell of whale breath can carry by the way. When I was a kid, we got to do a whale watching tour. We didn't see much in the way of whales that I remember. I absolutely loved riding in the boat getting out of the bay because it was really bumpy and crazy. I don't get seasick, but I get car sick very easily. I'm not sure the mechanics of that, I probably should look into it.

I've never seen a dolphin in the wild. I have seen the evidence of sharks or possibly an Orca because there are neatly bitten in half seals that wash up on occasion. I would be very upset if I saw a dolphin though. The whale watching trip is the only time I've been in a boat on the ocean here and if I saw a dolphin it would mean they were too close to shore for their safety.

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