US News 'Panda of the sea' could be extinct in months

16:15  16 may  2017
16:15  16 may  2017 Source:   Sky News

Sonic boom as military's secret space plane lands

  Sonic boom as military's secret space plane lands An unmanned US military space plane has landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center following a mission lasting more than two years.  The X-37B, which looks like a miniature space shuttle, touched down on Sunday morning, causing a sonic boom as it landed on a runway once used for space shuttles which have been mothballed.The sonic boom caused dozens of nearby residents to take to Twitter, with one saying her house "shook" and her dog had "gone into a frenzy".

Critically-endangered vaquitas could become extinct in a matter of months , with fewer than 30 of the porpoises left, conservationists have warned. Urgent action to clamp down on illegal fishing is needed to save the “ panda of the sea ”, wildlife charity WWF said.

Critically-endangered vaquitas could become extinct in a matter of months , with fewer than 30 of the porpoises left, conservationists have warned. Urgent action to clamp down on illegal fishing is needed to save the “ panda of the sea ”, wildlife charity WWF said.

A vaquita © Other A vaquita

A rare species of porpoise - of which fewer than 30 remain - could be extinct in months, a wildlife charity is warning.

The population of vaquitas, which are found only in Mexico's Upper Gulf of California, has declined by 90% since 2011.

They are known as the 'panda of the sea' because of their distinctive markings.

WWF says the "number one reason" for the fall in numbers is the use of gillnets.

A pair of vaquitas © Other A pair of vaquitas

The devices, which are hung vertically, significantly increase the average catch size.

Many "ecologically important species" have suffered a "significant decline" because of the use of gillnets, WWF says.

Sonic boom as military's secret space plane lands

  Sonic boom as military's secret space plane lands An unmanned US military space plane has landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center following a mission lasting more than two years.  The X-37B, which looks like a miniature space shuttle, touched down on Sunday morning, causing a sonic boom as it landed on a runway once used for space shuttles which have been mothballed.The sonic boom caused dozens of nearby residents to take to Twitter, with one saying her house "shook" and her dog had "gone into a frenzy".

Critically-endangered vaquitas could become extinct in a matter of months , with fewer than 30 of the porpoises left, conservationists have warned. Urgent action to clamp down on illegal fishing is needed to save the “ panda of the sea ”, wildlife charity WWF said.

Image: The vaquita is known as the ' panda of the sea '. Pic: Paula Olson, NOAA. A rare species of porpoise - of which fewer than 30 remain - could be extinct in months , a wildlife charity is warning.

Another cause is the illegal trafficking of part of the totoaba fish.

Its swim bladder is prized in China, where it is thought to ease discomfort during pregnancy and help with joint pain.

WWF claims the Mexican government has failed to enforce its own two-year ban on the use of gillnets, resulting in "unabated gillnet use".

With the ban due to expire at the end of May, WWF is calling on the Mexican government to "implement and enforce a permanent ban on all gillnets".

It also wants the authorities to "remove all ghost nets to prevent any bycatch of vaquita".

In addition, it is suggesting that the American and Chinese governments work with Mexico to stop the "illegal transport and sale of totoaba products".

An illicit trade route runs from Mexico, through the US and then on to China.

Chris Gee, from WWF-UK, said the public's help was required to "motivate the Mexican government to act to protect the species".

He added: "The last hope for the species is the Mexican government immediately putting in place and properly enforcing a permanent ban on gillnets."

More than a third of the world's marine mammal species are found in the Gulf of California World Heritage site.

It is home to five of the world's seven turtles and almost 900 fish species.

Dublin Zoo welcomes new elephant calf and wants you to name it .
Dublin Zoo has announced the birth of a male Asian elephant calf and they’re calling on the public to give name suggestions. The calf which was born on Monday, May 15, is estimated to be one metre tall and weighs approximately 130 kg. This is the fourth calf birthed by mother Yasmin and the sixth elephant calf born at Dublin Zoo in less than three years.The newborn will join the herd of 10 Asian elephants, including father Upali, in the Kaziranga Forest Trail.“The birth of an Asian elephant is an amazing spectacle and this was no exception,” said operation manager at Dublin Zoo, Gerry Creighton.

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