Every species that disappears from an ecosystem changes the balance. The vaquita, a small porpoise that lives in the northern Gulf of California in Mexico, is facing immediate extinction. Less than 100 remain, leaving a window of about 2 years to save the species.
The main threat to the vaquita is gillnet fishing. The porpoises are caught in the nets where they drown.
Although addressing this direct human threat is the top priority, the entire Gulf of California ecosystem is also threatened by changes in the water that flows into the gulf from the Colorado River. Not only is the amount of water dwindling due to water use in the western United States, but chemical runoff from agriculture is polluting the water that remains. The ways we use and abuse our immediate environment resonate well beyond the local; all of our decisions affect global survival.
You can see the rest of the endangered species series here: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/painting/endangered-species/