Fishing vessels pushing vaquita porpoise to extinction: U.N. treaty head

 

vaquita11/19/19 – Reuters

By Emma Farge

A rare species of porpoise is facing imminent extinction as fishing vessels appear to be flouting an international ban on them entering its last sanctuary, off the coast of Mexico, the head of a U.N. treaty said.

There are thought to be fewer than 30 vaquita porposies left worldwide, mostly due to deaths caused by entanglement in fishing nets, despite calls by conservationists and film star Leonardo DiCaprio for urgent steps to protect them.

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Mexico City’s “walking fish”

white fish under water
Photo by Artem Lysenko on Pexels.com

11/11/19 – BBC Travel

By Megan Frye

Frankie was missing half his face. A fungal infection had come over the little axolotl, a native amphibian of the waterways of Mexico City.

But Frankie, along with other axolotls, have a special talent. Veterinarian and axolotl researcher Erika Servín Zamora, who was also Frankie’s caregiver, said she was astounded to see the animal’s remarkable regeneration abilities that she’d read about in her studies. Within two months, Frankie had grown a new, fully functional eye, and life was back to normal in his tank at the city’s Chapultepec Zoo.

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40 Years Ago the World ‘Discovered’ Mexico’s Monarch Habitat — Today Its Survival Is at Stake

Huffington Post, 1/20/2015

monarch butterfly photoMEXICO CITY — Forty years ago the winter habitat of the monarch butterfly in Mexico was supposedly discovered. After searching for decades, on January 9, 1975 the Canadian scientist Fred A. Urquhart, an entomologist at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough College, received a phone call from an American living in Mexico City named Kenneth Brugger, married at the time to Mexican-born Cathy Aguado (known today as Catalina Trail), who told him that “We have located the colony. We have found them — millions of monarchs — in evergreens beside a mountain clearing.”

The “discovery” had taken place a week earlier in northern Michoacan, in an oyamel forest on Cerro Pelon, 10,000 feet up in the mountains of Mexico’s Transvolcanic Belt, and a few days later the Bruggers happened upon other monarch roosts at El Rosario and Chincua. The Bruggers were volunteer “research associates” in Urquhart’s longstanding monarch tagging program, in which tiny labels reading “Send to Zoology University Toronto Canada” were stuck onto thousands of southbound migrating butterflies.

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Monarch butterflies drop ominously in Mexico

monarch butterfly photoAssociated Press, 3/14/2013

The number of Monarch butterflies making it to their winter refuge in Mexico dropped 59 percent this year, falling to the lowest level since comparable record-keeping began 20 years ago, scientists reported Wednesday. It was the third straight year of declines for the orange-and-black butterflies that migrate from the United States and Canada to spend the winter sheltering in mountaintop fir forests in central Mexico. Six of the last seven years have shown drops, and there are now only one-fifteenth as many butterflies as there were in 1997.

Omar Vidal, the World Wildlife Fund director in Mexico, said: “The conservation of the Monarch butterfly is a shared responsibility between Mexico, the United States and Canada. By protecting the reserves and having practically eliminated large-scale illegal logging, Mexico has done its part. It is now necessary for the United States and Canada to do their part and protect the butterflies’ habitat in their territories.”

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