New Vaquita photos!

On October 22, two Vaquitas were photographed at close range, marking the first good photographs of the 2015 Vaquita Expedition, and some of the best ever of the species, for that matter!

Check out some of the photos (by Todd Pusser):

Vaquita-marina-2

Vaquita-marina-3

Everyone is extremely excited about this sighting (and the approximately 25 other Vaquitas seen so far during this expedition!), as well as relieved to have new photos for future conservation efforts. President Enrique Peña Nieto is one of these excited individuals! He tweeted reports and photos of the sightings, and also stated that the efforts to save this species rage on, detailing the extensive recovery plan once again in a press release today! The U.S. government has also announced their partnership with Mexico and both of their commitments to saving the Vaquita and eliminating the illegal Totoaba trade in China.

Weather conditions during the expedition have been favorable for the most part (despite the devastating Hurricane Patricia that hit much further south in Mexico), allowing for many sightings, including many of female (cow) Vaquitas with their calves that were presumably born this spring. This is tremendous news, as it means that Vaquitas are still finding ways to reproduce, and therefore can recover if the population isn’t being threatened by gillnets. This expedition has only been going on for a month, and it has already resulted in over 25 sightings, great photographs, and best of all, a renewed hope among the conservation community that the Vaquita can not only be saved, but that all the pieces are already in place to make it actually happen.

Viva Vaquita!

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3 thoughts on “New Vaquita photos!

  1. As i listen to Barbara, i have a positive idea that i believe she is saying regarding incenstuation and bad genetics….the vaquita is being reduced unnnaturally, so i think the ones left should be robust and genetically unrelated (mostly) to one another. So that’s a great thing in terms of its recovery provided it has a good environment to do so. She brought up the elephant seal. And even if incestuation is present, it likely would only slow down its recovery, it won’t preclude it. She makes clear that the vaquita really only faces one challenge: gillnets/bycatch.

    Taking all of this in, i think the fact that young vaquitas were likely spotted is a great sign.

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  2. Actually, now that I look at the pictures on my laptop, you can definitely see the beautiful vaquitas’ faces in 2 of the pics! Why don’t you offer my vaquita carvings for the conservation effort? Perhaps they could raise additional funds, raffled off like your drawing? I could always carve more again. There is no better time to raise money for the vaquita, and nostalgic feelings to keep them are easily trumped by the need to raise necessary funds for work on the ground. What do you think?

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