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Porpoises: Phocoenidae - Conservation Status

black fishing vaquita facing

The vaquita is the least abundant porpoise. There may be only a few hundred individuals remaining. The vaquita is considered Critically Endangered, facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. It lives in northern Mexico in the Gulf of California where there is a lot of commercial fishing. The main threat to its survival is being accidentally killed by becoming entangled in fishing nets.

BLACK PORPOISE

Like some other cetaceans, Burmeister's porpoise turns entirely black almost as soon as it dies. Early descriptions of this animal were based on dead specimens, so scientists mistakenly named the animal the "black porpoise." Although Burmeister's porpoise is mostly dark gray with a paler underside, the name stuck, and it is still often called the black porpoise today.

The harbor porpoise is listed as Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction. It is a protected species in the United States and Canada. Threats to its survival include pollution and accidental death in fishing gear. Little is known about the population levels of the other four species of porpoises.

Porpoises: Phocoenidae - Harbor Porpoise (phocoena Phocoena): Species Accounts [next] [back] Porpoises: Phocoenidae - Behavior And Reproduction

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