Join our zoo community

Can the Vaquita porpoise be saved ?

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by vogelcommando, 18 Aug 2014.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,296
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  2. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,296
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  3. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,296
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  4. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,296
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  5. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    So the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is boating around the Gulf of California and picking up abandoned gill nets to prevent animals from becoming tangled. I don't agree with everything they do but I'm really happy that they're doing this. But they found something terribly unfortunate... A number of animals dead from entanglement, including a vaquita. (warning, the article has a rather gruesome photo)

    Sea Shepherd Crew Discover Dead Vaquita, Totoaba and Great White Shark in Refuge - Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
     
  6. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
  7. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
  8. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    6,176
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    A couple weeks ago I was at Reid Park Zoo for a conservation series lecture (Cheetah Conservation Fund). The zoo director mentioned to the audience that the zoo's conservation fund is soon going to include the vaquita, which I was very pleased to hear.
     
  9. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,296
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  10. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    12,296
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
  11. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    I often think about the possibility of using captive breeding to save endangered cetaceans. If the vaquita population was larger, I'd be willing to consider it for that species, but at 60, I think it's too risky, ya know?

    Also, "pandas of the sea"? Pff. They're the goths of the sea!
     
    Mbwamwitu likes this.
  12. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,219
    Location:
    everywhere and nowhere

    It needs to be considered as doing nothing will ensure that the species will be extinct in the next 3 to 5 years. And our handling and husbandry techniques have improved in such a way that it should be feasible without too many losses.
     
  13. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Still, there hasn't been a whole lot of luck with breeding porpoises in captivity. No use bringing them into captivity if they won't breed. Plus we know so little about vaquitas and their needs, there's no guarantee that what we know about other species would apply to vaquita.
     
  14. DDcorvus

    DDcorvus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,219
    Location:
    everywhere and nowhere

    In Europe with harbour porpoises there has been an active no-breeding policy. There have been accidents and there breeding happened, but if desired there could be a successful breeding population.

    And at the moment the lack of enforcement in the golf of California is not going to change. The biggest chance for saving the species is captive management although in what form has to be seen. And we do enough about the Vaquito to know that a captive breeding programme could work.
     
  15. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    Yeah, it is true that there haven't been many active attempts to breed porpoises in captivity. Though didn't most of those accidental porpoise calves not live long?

    I suppose if a vaquita breed program were to be attempted, it might be preferable to start small with just one pair to minimize the risk. Of course, even getting that pair would be such a huge challenge, vaquitas are so rarely seen alive.
     
  16. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,437
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, Texas
  17. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,031
    Location:
    California, USA
    FunkyGibbon likes this.
  18. Surroundx

    Surroundx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Oct 2010
    Posts:
    533
    Location:
    Two Rocks, West Australia
    It's Baiji all over again. I believe it's already functionally extinct :'(
     
  19. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2013
    Posts:
    1,435
    Location:
    Baltic Sea
  20. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    6,176
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    TheMightyOrca likes this.