If this pint-sized porpoise does become extinct, it means that we will have discovered and exterminated the smallest of the cetaceans in less than a human lifetime. Its imperilled status has long been of concern and its main threat well established as incidental capture in fishing nets, sometimes called 'bycatch'.
Days ago, from a conference center perched on the edge of the bustling mountain city of Quito, Ecuador, delegates to the Convention on Migratory Species made an urgent and unprecedented call to end the live capture of whales and dolphins. This is the first time that any international body has called for this cruel and unnecessary threat to cetaceans to end.
An estimated 6.4 million tonnes of marine litter is dumped in oceans every year. In hotspots more than 3.5 million pieces of litter can occur per square kilometre. Plastic, which constitutes between 60 and 80 percent of marine debris, does not biodegrade and can persist in the marine environment for hundreds to thousands of years.
Progress is urgently needed in understanding Alzheimer's disease and in finding effective treatments. Available drugs can help stabilise memory loss and confusion for a few months in about half of patients, but no preventative treatments exist and none that slow the inexorable development of the disease.
This coming summer, a killing spree looks set to go ahead in England's countryside, with farmers, landowners and their agents licensed to take pot shots at badgers at night over huge areas of Gloucestershire, Somerset or possibly Dorset, in a misguided attempt to control the spread of tuberculosis in cattle.