VaquitaCPR, the effort to live-capture as many vaquitas as possible, remove them from the dangerous world of illegal gillnets, and into the relative safety of a series of specially-built pens and enclosures, is happening in the San Felipe area as you read this. The program began field operations on 12 October, and the search teams have already found several groups of vaquitas… good news that at least there are still enough of them left to locate. No captures have taken place yet, but all the pieces are in place, just waiting for flat-calm weather and cooperative capture subjects. It's a tall order, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility.
Let’s wish them all the best of luck (and weather!). The future of the species may very well depend on their success.
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).