Rojas-Bracho, Lorenzo Coordinación de Investigación y Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos, Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior, Ensenada Baja California, Mexico.
Reeves, Randall R. Okapi Wildlife Associates, Hudson, Quebec, Canada.
Jaramillo-Legorreta, Armando Coordinación de Investigación y Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos, Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior, Ensenada Baja California, Mexico.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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- A critically endangered cetacean species
- Conservation actions
- Steep decline as a result of illegal totoaba fishing
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Phocoena sinus, a small and critically endangered cetacean found in the Gulf of California. The vaquita (Fig. 1) is one of the smallest cetaceans (marine mammals belonging to the order Cetacea) in the world, with mature individuals measuring approximately 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in length and weighing about 50 kg (110 lb). Females are slightly larger than males. Vaquitas live for approximately 20 years and breed for the first time at between 3 and 6 years of age. Breeding is seasonal, and females produce a calf every other year, usually in March or April. The range of the vaquita is limited to the northern Gulf of California, mainly an area of approximately 4000 km2 (1544 mi2). However, the continued survival of the vaquita is highly doubtful because the species is critically endangered. See also: Cetacea; Endangered species; Marine ecology
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