As well as gillnet entanglement, the vaquita is vulnerable to several other potential threats.
Potential vaquita threats that have been suggested, but appear not to be significant risk factors at present, include inbreeding, depression, and pesticide exposure. Other less well-characterized and longer-term risk factors include the potential for disturbance by trawling to affect vaquita behavior and the uncertain effects of ecological changes from dam construction on the Colorado River and the resultant loss of freshwater input to the upper Gulf. The last of these may be important in the long term and deserves investigation, however, entanglement is the clearest and most immediate concern.
• Image | © Wildlife Artist Amber Marine, All Rights Reserved
• Sources | (Rojas-Bracho, Reeves, & Jaramillo-Legorreta, 2006)