va·​qui·​ta vä-ˈkē-tə How to pronounce vaquita (audio)
plural vaquitas
: a small, highly endangered porpoise (Phocoena sinus) of the Gulf of California having a dark ring around the eyes and reaching only four to five feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) in length
The Mexican government is making a final effort to save the vaquita, a tiny porpoise that has been driven to the edge of extinction as a result of illegal fishing for another endangered species that is served as a delicacy in China.Elisabeth Malkin

Examples of vaquita in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The expedition took place May 10-26, and crisscrossed a corner of the gulf where the few remaining vaquitas had last been seen. Mark Stevenson, ajc, 8 June 2023 For two weeks in May, researchers sailed around part of the gulf, which is the only place vaquitas — the most endangered porpoise in the world — live. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 15 June 2023 The last vaquita sighting expedition in 2021 yielded probable sightings of 5 to 13 vaquitas, a decline from the previous survey in 2019. Mark Stevenson, ajc, 8 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vaquita.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1961, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vaquita was in 1961

Dictionary Entries Near vaquita

Cite this Entry

“Vaquita.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

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