The vaquita porpoise. It’s cute . . . airbrushed eyes ringed by a white seam, like a solar eclipse. It’s the smallest in the porpoise family. It’s about to disappear from the planet.
The vaquita lives only in the Gulf of California around the Colorado river delta. Its demise is tied to the totoaba, a fish which lives only in the Gulf. Black market trade in the totoaba’s swim bladder is killing the few remaining vaquita. A single swim bladder can fetch thousands of dollars due to Asian cultures valuing its supposed, but unproven, medicinal value. Illegal gill nets are used to capture the fish . . . nets which also trap and drown the vaquita.
Does it make any difference that humanity is killing off another species? I’m no expert, but I believe the experts who proclaim that earth can only take so much of this ecological destruction before the planet implodes. Not in my lifetime, but perhaps in that of my great-grandchildren or beyond.
The cause? Shortsightedness . . . ignorance . . . greed. All of the above. And the vaquita is only one of a growing list of extremely endangered species: Amur Leopard; Sumatran Rhinoceros; Western Lowland Gorilla; Leatherback Sea Turtle; Bornean orangutan; ad nauseum.
What will it take to turn about this destruction? Time’s-a-wast’n!