The rescue operation that now probably represents the last chance we have to prevent the extinction of the vaquita in the next year is ramping up in San Felipe. VaquitaCPR staff are busy building sea pens, evacuation facilities, and other structures, aimed at a capture operation in September/October of this year. This is truly an international operation, mostly funded by Mexican and US sources, and involving people from all over the world (including from as far away as New Zealand!). The operation is using local labor to help with the construction, bringing much-needed jobs and income to local residents in San Felipe. It simply could not be done without international cooperation and collaboration.
Seeing the offensive display by President Trump recently, in response to the Charlottesville, Virginia riots and deaths over the weekend, was a stark reminder to me of how there is a connection between our attempts to save this little porpoise and the bigger events going on in the world right now. The divisiveness of this president, along with his complete disregard for science, and facts in general, are deeply disturbing. He has rejected the reality of climate change, and has hand-picked a new director for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who is systematically dismantling the agency from the inside out. In an age where it is more important than ever for people to act on what scientific knowledge is telling us, this president is routinely rejecting science that he sees as getting in the way of profits. The fact is that the vaquita will need all of us working together to have even a small chance of making it. I would ask each and every one of you to think about the connections between conservation efforts and events that are going on in the world right now. The future of the vaquita (and of other species) may ultimately depend on it.
VIVA Vaquita Director
Find out how you can help: Learn more about VaquitaCPR.
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).