Il cetaceo vaquita rischia l’estinzione: solo 30 esemplari in tutto il mondo

di AnnaMaria 26

E’ un vero e proprio SOS, quello inviato dall’Unione Internazionale per la conservazione della Natura (Iucn) secondo le cui stime la vaquita, conosciuta per essere il cetaceo più piccolo del mondo che vive nelle acque del Golfo della California, sarebbe seriamente minacciata di estinzione in quanto, sempre secondo le ultime ricerche, gli esemplari di popolazione di questa specie nell’ultimo anno sarebbero diminuti del 50%. Secondo le stime infatti in natura ne resterebbero solo 30 esemplari. Nel 2015 erano 97 gli esemplari rimasti.

La vaquita, nota anche con il nome di focena del Golfo della California, è un piccolo mammifero marino lungo circa quattro metri per 90 chili di peso simile ad un delfino, ed è una vittima delle cosiddette “catture accidentali”. Questi animali infatti spesso rimangono intrappolati nelle reti durante la pesca illegale dei totoaba, altra specie fortemente minacciata. I totoaba vengono ricercati per la loro vescica natatoria che viene essiccata e poi venduta illecitamente a prezzi che partono dai 2500 dollari l’etto, ed è richiesta soprattutto dal mercato cinese. Un costo esorbitante, che ha fatto guadagnare alla vescica natatoria dei totoaba il nome di “cocaina acquatica”.

> LE 10 SPECIE ANIMALI PIU’ IN PERICOLO D’ESTINZIONE

Ormai è una corsa contro il tempo per cercare di salvare il cetaceo vaquita, tanto che la marina americana sta pensando anche di utilizzare dei delfini addestrati per la localizzazione di mine sottomarine e ordigni che i pescatori di frodo utilizzano per catturare questi animali. I delfini saranno impiegati anche per localizzare gli ultimi esemplari rimasti di vaquita, con l’obiettivo di catturarne alcuni e mantenerli al sicuro fino a quando nella regione della California non completamente sradicato il mal costume della pesca illegale.

> BIODIVERSITA’: 23 SPECIE A RISCHIO IN ITALIA, 2 GIA’ SCOMPARSE

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