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):
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.
My school semester just ended (yes!), so I finally found time to work on some art. This is what I’ve done in the last few days.
Here are 2 WWF-style ads for online sharing:
Here is a digital painting/photo manipulation I made of a Vaquita from a picture of a Harbor Porpoise:
Here is a wonderful crochet Vaquita that my 9-year-old sister made:
This is a canvas painting that I just completed based on a photograph by Chris Johnson. I will be working on another canvas painting soon that will be for sale, so stay tuned!
Tudosoiu Dragos, the creator of V-log’s new logo, has also created the new logo for International Save the Vaquita Day 2014:
Also, this Sunday, January 26th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, California will be having their 44th annual Whale Fiesta. You can visit the Muskwa Club’s table, which will be spreading awareness for the critically endangered Vaquita porpoise. They will also be advertising my book, which will be available in Cabrillo’s gift shop. Please stop by for a whale of a time! 🙂
I was inspired by Betina Loudermilk’s comment on Facebook. She says that she will go on an eco-tour to look for the Vaquita if she is able to, which is amazing news! I hope many more people take the initiative and go on Vaquita-friendly eco-tours, because it is supporting the fishermen that switch careers from fishing with gillnets to giving eco-tours. You can read about some of the businesses that switched from gillnet fishing here: http://www.cedointercultural.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69&Itemid=66. Also, here is a travel itinerary I made for a Vaquita-oriented vacation: https://vlogvaquita.com/2013/07/18/update-vaquita-vacation/. This is the comment thread I mentioned above: