As a proud, newly minted member of the Wild Lens team, I’d like to introduce myself:

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 11.50.07 AMHello! I’m Stacey Hollis, I’ll be contributing to the Wild Lens blog with stories from the field in a multimedia-mashup of photography, videography and text. With a varied background rich in the biological sciences, I’ve spent years in the field studying birds in their natural habitat. My view of the world is very bird-centric but, as with any ecosystem, the whole is made up of all its interweaving parts, and I like to back up and take in the big picture-as is the Wild Lens way! I’m absolutely thrilled to become a part of the Wild Lens community and I encourage you to follow along on our journey of raising awareness through film, podcast and blog posts about conservation efforts of field biologists and researchers working in the name of wildlife. To learn more about my history with bird and blogging, feel free to take a look at my blog!

In other exciting news, here’s a quick Wild Lens update on all the buzz that’s kept the team so busy lately:

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After a successfully orchestrated film festival in Boise, Idaho which included a threatened and endangered species-themed art show, the team barely had a chance to catch their breath before their next feat. With audio/video gear in tow, Wild Lens, Inc. President and Co-founder Matthew Podolsky and Eyes on Conservation Project Director Sean Bogle headed down to Mexico where they’re hosting community screenings of the new 30-minute version of Souls of the Vermilion Sea, a film that documents the serious peril of extinction that looms over this declining species of porpoise, of which fewer than 30 individuals remain.

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Recently, Mexico made a 2-year ban on the use of gill-nets in the Vaquita Sanctuary. Sadly the rate of the vaquita’s population decline has actually increased since the ban was implemented. Together with the help of all of us in the international community, Mexico must maintain pressure on the Mexican government in order to ensure the recovery of the vaquita.

Through dedicated efforts in raising awareness about this vanishing species, continued education about these beautiful creatures could perhaps could lead to the salvation of this tiny porpoise, which is exactly why Wild Lens continues to be on the scene.

This is the short first version of the film which our crew is screening down in Mexico, this 14 minute clip documents censusing efforts to determine what remains of the vaquita population.

By incorporating education and awareness of this critically endangered species with the local fishermen who share their waters, significant steps are being taken toward preserving this exceedingly sensitive species. Stay tuned for how to see the newly screened 30-min version if you don’t happen to be in Mexico this week and definitely visit our vaquita blog to hear about how the screenings went.

Before signing off, I want to thank you for stopping by and be sure to check in or subscribe to keep updated on Wild Lens news and upcoming ventures. Thanks and have a fantastic day!


Update: Sadly, while in Mexico this week, our team learned that at least one vaquita has been found dead since their arrival, several days earlier.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an organization dedicated to protecting marine life through direct action, found a dead newborn vaquita on the beach just 33 km south of San Felipe, in the Northern area of the Gulf of California. It is agonizingly distressing that this species, with only around 30 individuals left on this planet, didn’t even have a chance to add this newest member to the population. The cause of death of the neonate is yet unknown but SSCS has sent the corpse to Mexican authorities. A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Furthermore, there have been reports to the SSCS of a second dead vaquita, although it has yet to be located after the team conducted searches over the following days. The locals who spotted it provided photos of the deceased animal, an adult, to SSCS with the hope of relocating the creature.

Stay tuned for updates on this troubling new turn of events.


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