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Sign our Petition to Prevent the Extinction of the Vaquita Porpoise. Thank you!
Welcome to ¡VIVA Vaquita!
Save The Vaquita!
(Listen to José Hernández from Mexico Speak for 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 probably less than 200 now! (Gerrodette et al. 2011). 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.
Why should we be worried?
In the last few decades, the small population has plummeted by about 8% 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!
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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:
- CIRVA. 2012. Report of the Fourth Meeting of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita. Ensenada, Baja California, México, 20–23 February, 47pp.
- Jefferson, T. A. (Editor) 2011. Saving the vaquita: Are we doing all we can? Workshop Report Summary. Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology (2)2: 29-36.
- Jefferson, T.A. and D. Kutz. 2011. ¡Viva Vaquita!: A Race Against TIme to Save an Elusive Yet Endangered Marine Mammal. The Explorer's Journal (Special Report) 89(2):12-13.
- 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)
- 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)
- Post on Vaquita.tv – Future Monitoring Programs: Lorenzo Rojas Bracho gives an update of the acoustic monitoring programs
- Chris Johnson (earthOCEAN) launches his film entitled, “Vaquita – Last Chance for the Desert Porpoise“
- Anita The Vaquita! A Coloring Book about Vaquitas. Copyright © 2012 OERS Publishing. For Ages 4-7, 27pp.
- Now Available! Adopt-A-Vaquita Kit with Save The Whales
- Check out a very impressive blog by 10-year old, Aidan, from Pennsylvania called the "V-log" and give him some much deserved feedback. Great job!!!
- See our Expedition Vaquita 2010: San Felipe, Baja California blog by Cheryl Butner.
- Visit ¡Viva Vaquita! & Partners' Accomplishments 2009 to 2013
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Last Update 5/20/13
since 1 Nov 2009