The first Saturday after the 4th of July has been designated as International Save the Vaquita Day!! This is intended to be an annual event similar to Earth Day, but with a specific focus on raising awareness and appreciation of the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Events around the globe direct the attention of people to the plight of this tiny porpoise species, and what needs to be done to save it from extinction. There are booths, games, music, free prizes, educational brochures, inspirational talks, face painting, and several life-size models of vaquitas on hand to draw attention to and appreciation of the vaquita, Mexico’s “Panda of the Sea”.
The primary goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the vaquita and its plight, and spur them to act. The species is nearly extinct, with only about 50-60 individuals left, and declining at >30% per year! We will have a simple message for folks about what they can do to help. Secondary goals are to gather signatures for our petitions to the Mexican government, and also to raise additional funds for future educational and research work on the vaquita. The event is designed to be fun, as well as educational, and kid-friendly!
What is the goal?
in 2016, we organized International Save the Vaquita Day (ISTV Day) on Saturday, July 9th. This event featured over 30 booths and other venues at sites in southern California, various cities in the US, and all over the world. The venues included 12 aquaria and 9 museums. There were experts on hand to answer questions, educational demonstrations, seminars, children’s games and events, face-painting, brochures and coloring books, etc. At one site (Seaport Village in San Diego) there was even live music – the LA-based surf-rock band Insect Surfers!
The primary goal was to make as many people as possible aware of the vaquita and its plight, and spur them to act. The events were all very peaceful, and respectful of the Mexican fishing culture. It is estimated that at least 15,895 people were educated about the vaquita at the various events on ISTV Day 2016.
How to get involved:
Join an Event
If you would like to volunteer your time at an event near you, please contact us and let us know which venue, so we can get you in contact with the local coordinator.
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).