Vaquita are shy, rather secretive animals. They have been observed singly, in pairs, and in groups of up to seven animals. They generally do not engage in acrobatics at the surface of the water, emerging from beneath the surface with a slow, forward-rolling movement that barely disturbs the water’s surface, taking a breath, and then quickly disappearing in a quiet dive .
Some think that the vaquita is a shy member of the porpoise family . Vaquitas are the most endangered of the world’s marine mammals. Less than 30 vaquitas remain in the wild, and entanglement in gillnets is driving the species toward extinction .
Another thing we wanted the answer to was; can vaquita jump out of the water?
Hence, Vaquita uses echolocation, emitting high-pitched sounds, which pass through the water and bounce, bringing information on the size and type of a given object and helping determine whether it’s edible or not. These shy animals do not tend to jump out of water or even swim at the surface.
How does a vaquita reproduce?
Vaquitas have a multi-male mating system which means that the male Vaquitas try to impregnate as many females as they can. They do this rather than monopolizing the females.
One of the next things we asked ourselves was: how does a vaquita reproduce?
Some think that very little is known about vaquita reproduction, mainly because of their minimal numbers and secretive behavior . Scientists estimate much of their reproductive information from the harbor porpoise, which is a close relative.
The vaquita is most closely related to Burmeister’s porpoise ( Phocoena spinipinnis) and less so to the spectacled porpoise ( Phocoena dioptrica ), two species limited to the Southern Hemisphere. Their ancestors are thought to have moved north across the equator more than 2.5 million years ago during a period of cooling in the Pleistocene.
Reproduction of the Vaquita. Scientists estimate much of their reproductive information from the harbor porpoise, which is a close relative. Gestation is estimated to be about 11 months, and calves likely nurse for up to 8 months .
What type of mating system do Vaquitas have?
It is thought that vaquitas have a polygynous mating system in which males compete for females.
Vaquitas reproduce only once every two years , while most porpoises have a calf every year. They’re most closely related to porpoises in South America, but the species diverged from these relatives at least 2.5 million years ago.
Why are they killing off the vaquitas?
Because vaquitas are mammals, not fish, they drown when trapped under water , and are simply tossed overboard by the fishermen when they bring up the nets. Totoaba fishing has been suspended, but many poachers continue to illegally hunt the fish, and in the process they are killing off the last of the vaquita.