May 13, 2016 10:29 pm

Scientists say Mexico’s Vaquita porpoise dangerously close to extinction

WATCH ABOVE: Two Sea Shepherd vessels took part in patrols for poachers and fishermen using gillnets, and removed illegal fishing gear in the area. Estimates by the International Commission for the Recovery of the Vaquita porpoise state there are only 60 left in the world.

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MEXICO CITY – Scientists are warning that the population of Mexico’s endangered vaquita, the world’s smallest porpoise, has fallen to alarmingly low levels and is heading toward extinction soon if drastic measures aren’t taken.

A survey by the International Commission for the Recovery of the Vaquita found that as of December there were probably only about 60 of the shy, elusive creatures left in the upper Sea of Cortez. That’s the only place where they are found.

READ MORE: ‘We’re at risk of losing a lot of species’: The race to save Canada’s wildlife

Since that time three vaquitas were found dead during just three weeks in March by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

The vaquitas are threatened primarily by gillnet fishing for the totoaba fish, another endangered species that is hunted in the same area.

The results of the survey were released Friday evening by Mexico’s Environment Department.

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