The latest report by the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) estimates that only between 6 and 22 individuals remained alive in 2018. It is possible, though, that there no more than 10 vaquitas left. (For comparison, in 1997, the population was estimated to be about 600 individuals strong.)
During recent surveys, scientists spotted multiple vaquita, including mother-calf pairs, indicating that the species is still reproducing. Photo identification is currently being tested in addition to visual (vessel-based, with trained observers) and acoustic surveys (detection with underwater microphones) in order to obtain a better estimate of how many individuals remain.
References and Further Reading
- (2019). Report of the Eleventh meeting of the Comité Internacional para la Recuperación de la Vaquita (CIRVA). .