Vaquita: Its Environment, Biology and Problematic

by L. Rojas-Bracho, Universidad Autonoma de Baja, Ensenada, Mexico,
J. Urbán-Ramírez, Universidad Autonoma de Baja, Ensenada, Mexico,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Management in Mexico: the Baja California Experience


Vaquita is an endemic porpoise of the gulf of California. A general overview of this unique marginal sea, which has been described as one of the most productive regions of the world oceans, is presented. Emphasis is on the upper gulf, where all confirmed sightings have been reported. A discussion of vaquita's distribution, possible historical and current range, small population size, as well as aspects of its life history and phylogeny are given. Its low genetic variation, origin and possible consequences, is discussed. An analysis of the main threatens to vaquita's survival (low water flow from the Colorado river, insecticide contamination, and incidental mortality in fisheries operations), the socioeconomic aspect protection are brought to notice.

Subject Headings: Gulfs | Water pollution | Social factors | Economic factors | Seas and oceans | Water conservation | Wildlife | History | Gulf of California | Colorado River

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