Animalia > Chordata > Mammalia > Cetacea > Phocoenidae > Phocoena > Phocoena sinus

Phocoena sinus (Vaquita; Gulf of California harbor porpoise)

Language: Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a rare species of porpoise. It is endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California. The estimated number of individuals dropped below 100 in 2014, putting it in imminent danger of extinction. Since the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) is believed to have gone extinct by 2006, the vaquita has taken on the title of the most endangered cetacean in the world.The word "vaquita" is Spanish for little cow.
View Wikipedia Record: Phocoena sinus

Endangered Species

Status: Critically Endangered
View IUCN Record: Phocoena sinus

EDGE Analysis

Mexico's only endemic marine mammal, the vaquita is a slender porpoise with distinctive dark rings around the eyes and mouth. It is the world's smallest and most endangered cetacean, and lives in the warm shallow coastal waters in the northern end of the Gulf of California. The vaquita is the only species of porpoise to live in such warm waters, and can uniquely tolerate large fluctuations in temperature. Although vaquita have never been hunted directly, populations are declining as a result of incidental mortality in fishing gear.A recent alarming study has shown that a mere 150 individuals remain. With current annual mortalities estimated at around 40 vaquitas per year, immediate action is required in order to save this species from extinction.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 11.35
EDGE Score: 5.29
View EDGE Record: Phocoena sinus


Adult Weight [2]  93.70 lbs (42.50 kg)
Diet [1]  Carnivore
Top 100 Endangered [3]  Yes
Water Biome [1]  Coastal

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Rio Colorado Biosphere Reserve VI 2320468 Sonora, Mexico  

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) Sites

Name  Location   Map   Climate   Land Use 
Alto Golfo de California y Delta del Río Colorado Mexico  

Prey / Diet

Bairdiella icistia (corbineta)[4]
Orthopristis reddingi (Bronzestriped grunt)[4]


Parasitized by 
Hadwenius tursionis[5]
Synthesium tursionis[5]

Range Map

East Pacific;



Attributes / relations provided by 1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at 2Felisa A. Smith, S. Kathleen Lyons, S. K. Morgan Ernest, Kate E. Jones, Dawn M. Kaufman, Tamar Dayan, Pablo A. Marquet, James H. Brown, and John P. Haskell. 2003. Body mass of late Quaternary mammals. Ecology 84:3403 3Baillie, J.E.M. & Butcher, E. R. (2012) Priceless or Worthless? The world’s most threatened species. Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom. 4Phocoena sinus, Robert L. Brownell, Jr., Mammalian Species No. 198, pp. 1-3 (1983) 5Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
AZE sites provided by Alliance for Zero Extinction (2010). 2010 AZE Update.
Images provided by Google Image Search
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Weather provided by NOAA METAR Data Access