The Sea Shepherd Nature Conservation Group, together with Mexican government agencies, conducted the research and search for this rare dolphin from August 19 to September 3. Last October, a similar project discovered six vaquita dolphins.
Eva Hidalgo, Scientific Coordinator of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Group and lead researcher, said the findings were important to show the world that vaquita was alive and well.
Vaquita dolphins were found in the Gulf of California, Mexico on September 3, 2019.(Photo: AFP / TTXVN).
Vaquita dolphins are only found in the Gulf of California and are dubbed the 'ocean panda' because of the characteristic black circle around their eyes. This is the smallest and rarest dolphin in the world. Scientists estimate that only 30 vaquita dolphins currently exist in the wild. However, this dolphin is at risk of early extinction due to illegal fishing in the Gulf of California.
If this happens, the vaquita will be the first on the list of endangered species of the International Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). So, since this convention took effect 40 years ago.
Last year, the Mexican government launched a daring plan to protect the remaining vaquita dolphins with the help of US Navy-trained dolphins and take them to a safe place. But the plan was halted when one of the first vaquita dolphins caught.