Saving Vaquita: Considerations in the Race Against Extinction

A webinar on the messy business of conservation with a focus on the most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita
Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 3:00pm EST

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.