International Save the Vaquita Day was held on Saturday 8 July (with a few events on other days nearby). In total, there were 27 venues in the United States (mostly in California, but with others scattered all over the US), and 11 additional ones in other countries (including three in Mexico and three in China). With a total of 38 events worldwide, this year’s event was the largest ever.
Overall, more than 56,000 people were educated directly about the vaquita at this year’s event, with more 100,000 additional people being reached through related social media postings. Most importantly, 2017’s ISTV Day reached many tens of thousands of people in Guangzhou, China and Hong Kong, two of the main areas where smuggling and illegal sales of totoaba bladders occur. Our new Chinese language versions of the vaquita brochure and coloring book were very popular at these events, and it is hoped that this will help to reduce the demand for totoaba bladders, the main threat to the vaquita’s continued existence.
To see a full list of venues, learn more about the specific locations and events that occurred, and see photos, please visit:
Photos taken under permit (Oficio No. DR/488/08 from the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturale Protegidas (CONANP/Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), within a natural protected area subject to special management and decreed as such by the Mexican Government. This work was made possible thanks to the collaboration and support of the Coordinador de Investigación y Conservación de Mamíferos Marinos at the Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE).