Mexico creates Upper Gulf porpoise refuge


Environmental groups are welcoming a decree that Mexican authorities issued this month to create a refuge for the endangered vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) in the Upper Gulf of California, but local fishermen question how they can make a living under tightened conservation measures. The decree, issued by Mexico’s National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), was prompted by Mexican President Vicente Fox’s proposal in June to boost protection of the small porpoise’s habitat. The Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve, a national conservation area created in 1993, already includes 309 square miles (800 sq kms) of vaquita porpoise habitat. But an additional 463 square miles (1200 sq kms), or 60%, of vaquita habitat remained outside the reserve and, thus, open to... [Log in to read more]

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