Sunset on the Northern Gulf of California - the only place on Earth to find the Vaquita.

Sunset on the Northern Gulf of California – the only place on Earth to find the Vaquita.

Episode Summary:

Dr. Barbara Taylor is on a life-long mission to save the vaquita from extinction. She has been working with this critically endangered porpoise for over 30 years, and although her specialty is in population genetics, she has branched out to many different fields in her pursuit of this goal. Barbara gives us a breakdown of how vaquita conservation efforts have progressed over the past several decades, and shares her story about the shocking discovery just a few years ago that the population was crashing.

We discuss Barbara’s entry point into the world of vaquita conservation, which actually came through a thought experiment about the philosophy of science and conservation efforts. Since that time, Barbara has been involved in virtually every aspect of vaquita research, from the first analysis of the genetics of the population to investigations in the social sciences to find solutions to the gill net fishing problem.

Barbara also shares several dramatic conservation success stories highlighting marine mammal populations that have rebounded from critically low population numbers. These success stories are extremely important to talk about right now, as the vaquita is currently facing a similar crisis situation. We must keep in mind that recovery is within our grasp and the importance of maintaining hope for the recovery of this species.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in vaquita recovery, take the advise dished out in this interview and go talk to whoever you buy seafood from and tell them about the new “vaquita friendly” brand that will be coming on the market this fall. You can also get involved by making a pledge on our kickstarter campaign for the new film Souls of the Vermilion Sea – this will help us tell the vaquita’s story and spread awareness of the conservation issues that it faces. We have just introduced a special new reward item – unique vaquita art created by today’s guest Barbara Taylor! That’s right, she’s an talented artists as well as a scientist, so be sure to take a look at the campaign and secure your vaquita print before it’s too late!

 

Links:

Souls of the Vermilion Sea  kickstarter campaign

Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Barbara Taylor’s website for her art

 

Listen to the podcast episode here:






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