Definition of vaquita in US English:

vaquita

noun

  • A small porpoise found in the Gulf of California and now endangered.

    Phocoena sinus, family Phocoenidae

    • ‘The critically endangered vaquita - a tiny porpoise inhabiting Mexico's Gulf of California - is teetering on the brink of extinction.’
    • ‘Probably no more than 150 vaquitas survive, conservationists say.’
    • ‘The Mexican government set up a reserve in 1993 to protect the vaquita porpoises, which become entangled in fishing nets and drown.’
    • ‘Many scientists believe that vaquita will become extinct because the genetic pool is too small for effective reproduction.’
    • ‘The upper Gulf of California near the Colorado River delta is the endangered vaquita's only habitat.’

Origin

1950s: Spanish, diminutive of vaca ‘cow’, from Latin vacca.

Pronunciation

vaquita

/væˈkidə//vaˈkēdə/