Actor and Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio asked Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to use his power to save the vaquita from the extinction of the Gulf of California. The Vaquita is a marine mammal that has taken on the title of the most endangered cetacean in the world.

DiCaprio is well known for his powerful speeches on environmental conservation. As an environmental activist he focuses on global warming, preserving Earth's biodiversity and supporting renewable energy. According to The International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita, by the end of 2016 only 30 specimens of the species remained. 

"The smallest member of the porpoise family is the most endangered marine mammal in the world. Unsustainable and illegal fishing practices have caused a dramatic decline in the vaquita's population," said the 42-year-old actor in his Instagram account, accompanied by a photo of the animal.

"Fewer than 30 vaquita may be left in the wild and without immediate action, they face imminent extinction. Join me and @World_Wildlife and let President Peña Nieto of Mexico know that we demand action to protect the vaquita today," he added.

If you want to join DiCaprio and the World Wildlife Fund, you can sign here to support the critically endangered vaquita. The world’s smallest porpoise, vaquitas measure up to five-feet long and weigh up to 120 lbs. Besides the vaquita, the Gulf of California has tremendous biological and economic importance. It supports an extraordinary diversity of marine life including sharks, whales, marine turtles, and many species of reef fish.

According to WWF, the mammal is capture and illegally smuggled over the US border and then shipped to China where it can sell up to USD 8,500 per kilogram in the black market to use it in the Chinese medicine.

Mexican President Peña Nieto has committed to protecting the vaquita. But totoaba fishing– the main threat to vaquitas – has continued to increase. "Today a Vaquita was spotted with its breeding in the Upper Gulf. @gobmx continues to work to prevent the extinction of this Mexican species," he tweeted on May 3.

After the message from DiCaprio, the Mexican president wrote in his Twitter account, which welcomed the concern of DiCaprio and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) around the vaquita.