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 endemic to the northern part of the Gulf of California. 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. It is listed as critically endangered because the estimated number of individuals dropped below 100 in 2014, putting it in imminent danger of extinction. That number was updated to approximately 60 in May 2016, leading to the conclusion that the species is headed for extinction within 5 years unless further conservation efforts are undertaken.
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


Top 100 Endangered [4]  Yes
Water Biome [1]  Coastal
Adult Weight [2]  93.697 lbs (42.50 kg)
Diet [3]  Piscivore
Diet - Fish [3]  100 %
Forages - Marine [3]  100 %

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)[5]
Orthopristis reddingi (Bronzestriped grunt)[5]


Parasitized by 
Synthesium tursionis[6]

Range Map


East Pacific;

External References



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
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Baillie, J.E.M. & Butcher, E. R. (2012) Priceless or Worthless? The world’s most threatened species. Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom.
5Phocoena sinus, Robert L. Brownell, Jr., Mammalian Species No. 198, pp. 1-3 (1983)
6Gibson, 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.
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License