Brooke Bessessen | An Island Press Author

Brooke Bessesen

Brooke Bessesen is a research fellow with Osa Conservation, a veterinary technician, and an author. She has written seven books, including award-winning children’s books with wildlife-conservation themes, and an Arizona wildlife guide. She has also been a television producer for National Geographic and Discovery Health channels. She travels and lectures widely, particularly to educate children about wildlife conservation issues.

Webinar: Saving Vaquita

Considerations in the Race Against Extinction

As Brooke Bessesen writes in her new book, Vaquita: Science, Politics, and Crime in the Sea of Cortez, “Conservation is messy business.”

As Brooke Bessesen writes in her new book, Vaquita: Science, Politics, and Crime in the Sea of Cortez, “Conservation is messy business.”

Economic, cultural, political, and legislative forces all come into play when considering protection strategies for an at-risk species. And, frustratingly, the best approach for victory isn’t always clear. Local communities have to balance potential job losses and preservation of their cultural history with conservation goals. When governments help or hinder the cause, lawsuits become tools for action. Because of these complex dynamics, key players in the conservation effort may, at times, find themselves at odds—even if their end goal is the same.

This webinar, moderated by Dr. Tom Jefferson, explores the complicated issue of endangered species recovery through the lens of the now extremely rare porpoise, the vaquita, asking: When it comes to saving a species, is it possible to unify all concerned parties to fight for a common, singular objective?

Bessesen introduces the world’s smallest cetacean and explains the history of its plight. By examining the economic, cultural, and legislative aspects of vaquita conservation, audience members are encouraged to consider the universal goals and challenges related to disappearing species worldwide.