The Aquarium of the Pacific along with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) have teamed up to help save the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita porpoise.

Vaquita populations have declined to extremely low levels with an estimated 30 animals remaining. This is down from an estimate of 60 only one year ago. In order to protect the last remaining vaquita, it has been determined that ex situ conservation, or collecting and bringing the remaining few vaquita into a protected sanctuary, is an urgent and necessary course of action. Experts from the eighth meeting of the Comité Internacional para la Recuperación de la Vaquita (CIRVA 8) have determined that current conservation actions are happening too slowly and that this effort is needed to protect the remaining vaquita. Vaquita are rare and shy animals. They avoid boat noise and will prove difficult to locate and capture. To support this effort, the Mexican Government has solicited the United States Navy to use trained US Navy dolphins to support the location and collection of vaquita. This invitation has been accepted and plans are underway to develop the protocols and personnel that will be needed to accomplish this task and all of the other components of the project. 

This effort will be difficult, and while all necessary experts are being engaged, nothing like this has ever been attempted. However, there are no viable alternatives left for the vaquita. If we don’t do this now and continue to establish conservation measures within their native habitat, the vaquita will go extinct in as little as three years. We cannot let this happen.

AZA, along with a number of zoos and aquariums, are supporting this vaquita rescue plan, but we need your help. Collectively we have been able to generate only about half of the one million dollars needed to begin making preparations for the vaquita rescue. We have until the end of the month to raise the remaining support. Will you help? A donation of any amount will help to make this happen. 

https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/safevaquita

To learn more about the rescue effort go to VaquitaCPR.org.
 

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AuthorIAAAM

The IAAAM Executive Board was pleased to award Dr. Frances Gulland with the Mark Keyes Award for Marine Mammal Conservation at the 47th Conference in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Dr. Gulland, Senior Scientist at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA and Commissioner at the Marine Mammal Commission has been a leader in the fields of marine mammal medicine, research and conservation since 1994. Dr. Gulland has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts on marine mammals and is coeditor of the CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine. She is a Past-President of IAAAM and has served as Chair of the Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events and as a member of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team. In 2011 Dr. Gulland was appointed by President Obama to serve as one of the Commissioners of the Marine Mammal Commission and since her appointment has been a leader in recovery efforts for the critically endangered vaquita and Mekong River dolphin. Congratulations Frances! 

Dr. Katie Colgrove presents the Mark Keyes Award for 2016 to Dr. Frances Gulland.

Dr. Katie Colgrove presents the Mark Keyes Award for 2016 to Dr. Frances Gulland.

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AuthorIAAAM

During the IAAAM business meeting on Sunday, May 22nd, the IAAAM Board changed slightly after a unanimous vote. Your IAAAM Board members are

Past President - Lisa Murphy (new)
President - Pam Tuomi (new)
President-Elect - Martin Haulena (new)
Treasurer - Tonya Clauss
Secretary - Michael S. Renner
Board Member for Membership - Hendrik Nollens (new)
Board Member for Education - Kathleen Colegrove
Board Member for Communications - Michael B Briggs

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AuthorIAAAM

The International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine would like to thank the sponsors of this year's IAAAM Conference. We greatly appreciate your support. 

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Sponsor

Cyber Cafe Sponsor

Conference Apparel Sponsor

Sand Tiger Shark Sponsors

Lined Seahorse Sponsors

ACZM Credit Workshop Sponsor

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AuthorIAAAM