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NEWS FLASH - The Vaquita is Closer to Extinction Than We Thought – Only an Immediate and Total Gillnet Ban Can Save the Species!! Click here to read full story
Welcome to ¡VIVA Vaquita!
Our Mission is to Save The Vaquita!
The vaquita porpoise is considered by many to be the rarest and most-endangered species of marine mammal in the world. It is Critically Endangered with only 245 remaining in 2008 and less than 100 now! (CIRVA 2014). It is the smallest of only seven species of true porpoises, and is the only one that lives in warm waters of the eastern Pacific Ocean. It is found in a tiny area in the extreme northern Gulf of California, near Baja California, Mexico.
Listen to José Hernández from Mexico Speak for the Vaquita!
Why should we be worried?
In the last few decades, the small population has plummeted by about 8-19% per year, as gillnets set for fish and shrimp kill more porpoises than are born annually. These “invisible” gillnets trap the vaquitas and they drown. If rapid progress is not made, the vaquita may be extinct in a few short years. The very perilous situation of the vaquita has been recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Whaling Commission, Mexican Government, and United States Government.
Comment from the Austrian Commissioner at the 2012 International Whaling Commission Meeting:
We have had one very worst case scenario recently with the baiji, Mr. Chair. My fellow commissioners, we are on the brink of another worst case scenario with the vaquita in Mexico. How much greater must be the shame be when a highly-evolved species is on the brink of extinction again? Frankly, its time for diplomatic niceties and step-wise strategies to take a backseat to action. Our organization is about to be shamed. We will be under the eternal judgment from future generations if we fail.
We call on the IWC, range states, and NGOs to raise this issue to a higher level of resoluteness.
Can they be Saved?
Yes! Unlike some endangered species that have no place left to live in the wild, the vaquita's home in the Gulf of California is clean and healthy. The only real problem is the gillnets that entangle and kill vaquitas. If these can be moved out of the small area where vaquitas occur, the species will likely recover. We can save the vaquita!!
Learn how you can help the vaquita!
THE VAQUITA RECOVERY FUND
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MARINE MAMMAL BOOKS AND REPRINTS WANTED
¡VIVAVaquita! is requesting marine mammal books, reprints, monographs, and journals. Literature can be donated or we can purchase sets of books, reprints, and journals. We make the literature available to colleagues working on marine mammals, getting it into hands where it will be actively used, and in the proccess help to raise funds for research and conservation work on the vaquita. Donations are tax-deductible, and we may be able to arrange pick-up of large quantities of literature. We are currently collecting literature to help fund our Sept/Oct 2013 expedition to San Felipe, and to conduct education work with local organizations and school groups in Mexico. If you have any literature you would be interested in donating or selling to us, please contact Tom Jefferson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vaquita Updates & Publications:
- Vaquita Porpoise Faces Imminent Extinction—Can It Be Saved? Drastic measures are needed to rescue vaquitas in the Gulf of California. By Virginia Morell for National Geographic.
- 100 Vaquita Marinas are all that is left; Now its crunch time for Mexico. Posted on August 21, 2014 by Vince Radice.
- Can Mexico save the endangered vaquitas? by Omar Vidal, Robert L. Brownell Jr. and Zhou Kaiya, CNN Opinion, August 19, 2014.
- Mexico's Vaquita on Brink of Extinction: Fishermen in Sea of Cortez split over Protection Measure. Unless drastic action is taken immediately, the vaquita will be lost.
- China Bladder Trade Sending Porpoise to Extinction. Experts believe that only an estimated 97 Vaquitas remain, and probably less than 25 of these are reproductive females.
- Vaquita, the Mexican Porpoise, nears Extinction. Vaquitas are dying at an accelerated rate because of an increase in the illegal gillnet fishery for the Totoaba (toe-TWAH-bah, an endangered fish endemic to the northern Gulf).
- Smuggler owes $3M for Fish Bladders. The black market Totoaba trade is a lucrative one, with a single dried bladder fetching $5,000 to $10,000.
- Multi-Million Dollar Fish Bladder Factory Uncovered in Calexico. From February to April 2013 (2 months), inspectors have seized approximately 483 pounds of Totoaba in Calexico, CA.
- On the Brink of Extinction: Saving the Totoaba in the Sea of Cortez. Gillnet fishing in the upper Sea of Cortez has pushed the vaquita porpoise to the brink of extinction due to illegal fishing for Totoaba swim bladders.
- #SaveTheVaquita video, a must see: Saving the World's Most Endangered Sea Mammal with Lorenzo Rojas Bracho, leading expert on the Vaquita.
- Participate in Save The Whales' SAVE THE VAQUITA STUDENT CONTESTS and win 4 tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, CA or An Adopt a Vaquita Kit
- The Biology of an Endangered Porpoise by Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky. For only $12.95 and with the profits going to the Vaquita, you can own the world's first Vaquita book!
- Download Whalewatcher: Journal of the American Cetacean Society, 2010. Jefferson, T. (ed). Porpoises in Peril: The vaquita and its relatives. vol 39. No. 1 (2 MB)
- Download Anita The Vaquita! A Coloring Book about Vaquitas. Copyright © 2012 OERS Publishing. For Ages 4-7, 27pp. (1 MB)
- Learn about the vaquita habitat and prey, to the various factors threatening them via CEDO's publication "The Vaquita of the Gulf of California" (download 5.4MB)
- Now Available! Adopt-A-Vaquita Kit with Save The Whales
- Mexican artist memuco beautiful vaquita illustrations on our t-shirts, sweatshirts, mousepads, and bags. Check them out and order online here.
- Check out a very impressive blog by 14-year old, Aidan Bodeo-Lomicky, from Pennsylvania called the "V-log" and give him some much deserved feedback. Great job!!!
- This year's (2013) Vaquita Expedition distributed several thousand coloring books (both English and Spanish) to various businesses, hotels, etc. in San Felipe, Mexico, and made arrangements to get the Spanish versions into some of the schools in the upper Gulf. The response was overwhelmingly positive. The printng cost were made possible by Save The Whales and the American Cetacean Society.
- Visit ¡Viva Vaquita! & Partners' Accomplishments 2009 to Present.
- Learn more about VivaVaquita.org's Goals & Mission and join us in our efforts to Save The Vaquita!
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Last Update 10/9/14
since 1 Nov 2009