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Mexico drops most protections for vaquitas; enviros say move will lead to extinction

The Mexican government will no longer protect the habitat of the critically endangered vaquita in the Upper Gulf of California, but has opened the area up to fishing, according to a news report. It’s estimated that there are only about nine vaquitas left in the world.

The vaquita (Phocoena sinus), a bathtub-sized porpoise endemic to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California, has experienced a sharp population decline in the two past two decades, mainly due to illegal gillnet fishing for the critically endangered totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi).

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