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!

Expedition progress

Dr. Tom Jefferson just sent me some good news! Though the weather has not been ideal so far during the expedition, there has been a Vaquita sighting! Here is what he wrote:

“We have not had very good weather so far, but we did have one very calm day with a single Vaquita sighting very close to the boats. Three animals, but the photos did not turn out well.”

I was very excited to read this, and filled with hope that if the weather is calm for the next two weeks, they will get some really good Vaquita photos! Stay tuned.

And they’re off!

Today marks the beginning of Expedition Vaquita 2013! We wish you the best of luck ¡Viva Vaquita!

Let’s hope that they have a successful mission, including getting some good Vaquita photographs. If they start a blog during the expedition, I will post it here.