Ocean Sciences Here We Come!

Happy New Year!

2018 will be another exciting year for WhaleTimes.

First up on our agenda is the Ocean Sciences meeting in Portland in February.  WhaleTimes Director, Ruth A. Musgrave is presenting a poster.

Other events we already have planed include:

  • a new vaquita research mini-book from WhaleTimes and an update video newsletter (created by Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network) as part of our Save the Vaquita efforts and curriculum
  • Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks, Skates, and Rays a Voice (May)
  • following researchers into the deep to study animal vision in hydrothermal vents
  • October 17 is the 10th anniversary of Hagfish Day! Hard to believe this exciting holiday created by WhaleTimes  is still going strong. (October  17)

and so much more!

We hope you can join us all year and help us save ocean animals by promoting the importance of Sustainable Seafood.

Dolphins and Porpoises

Hi Kids,
Can you tell the difference between a dolphin and a porpoise? Both are whales, but have some distinct differences.

Porpoises: Family Phocoenidae

There are 7  species or kinds of porpoise. Porpoises (like this vaquita) are short and stout. The have a blunt shape to their head. Porpoises have small pointed flippers and a small triangle shaped dorsal fin. Porpoises also have spade-shaped teeth. They tend to be shyer, quieter, and less social than dolphins. Porpoises are generally found alone or with one or two other porpoises.

Dolphins Family Delphinidae

There are 37 species of dolphins. In general, dolphins have longer snouts, called rostrums. Their dorsal fin (the fin on the back) curves back toward the tail. Dolphins have longer thinner bodies than a porpoise. Dolphins teeth are conically shaped teeth–shaped like upside down ice cream cones. Dolphins also tend to be more social and more vocal then porpoises.

Dolphins and porpoises are similar in many ways. They are extremely intelligent whales with large complex brains. Both whales use echolocation to navigate and find food.

Both are amazing and both are beautiful creatures.
See you later,
Dudley

Vaquita Porpoise

Hi Kids,
As you know, 2017 is the Year of the Vaquita. WhaleTimes has been celebrating all year. If you don’t know about this  beautiful creature, it is a porpoise that is only found in the Sea of Cortez in the Gulf of California. This shy porpoise has unusual and pretty facial markings and sleek bodies.  (Read more about Vaquita)

It is amazing and heartbreaking to think that scientists didn’t even know vaquitas existed until the 1950s.  Yet today, they are the most endangered whale in the world. Less than 30 exist.

Today, scientists fear that the vaquita porpoise will become the SECOND whale species in the last decade to become extinct due to human pressures. The fear is that they will disappear forever by the year 2018. Can you even image that in two years a living creature will disappear from the face of the earth forever? Continue reading

Thank you to all our summer camps and Science Teams!

Wow, it has been the fastest summer yet! Kindergarten to 8th grade kids from across the country participated in two WhaleTimes’ virtual research missions. They danced to DNA, made vaquita wind socks, and created elephant seal tags. The kids also dazzled the Science Team members with their knowledge and challenged them with thought-provoking questions during the 30+ Skype™ sessions.

Our Creep into the DEEPEND Summer Camp program took kids to the deep sea in the Gulf of Mexico with the DEEPEND Science Team. They met cool animals and even cooler research and researchers while discovering  DEEPEND Consortium’s important deep-sea research.

Kids joined Patrick W. Robinson,  Dave Weller, Barbara Taylor,  Daniel Costa and their Science Teams from the UC-Santa Cruz, Costa Lab, UC Año Nuevo Island Reserve and Southwest Fisheries Science Center/NOAA (vaquita and gray whale research) as part of our Celebration of Conservation: Gray Whales, Elephant Seals, and Vaquita. Summer camp kids learned about the beautiful gray whale, the amazing elephant seal, and the shy vaquita. The kids heard the successful conservation stories of the elephant seal and gray whale. Conservation efforts that saved both species from extinction. Summer campers also learned that the vaquita’s conservation story is still being written. With less than 30 vaquita left, we don’t know if it’ll have a happy ending or not.

Through both WhaleTimes’ programs our summer camp kids learned two important lessons. 1) Everybody makes a difference when it comes to conservation; 2) Everyone can help save ocean animals by only buying and/or eating sustainably caught seafood (when you are hankering for seafood).

Thank you to our Science Team Members, volunteers, and the museums and science centers for making it another amazing summer!

  • DEEPEND Research and Creep into the DEEPEND program funded by funded by Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) award number GOMRI2014-IV-914
  • The Celebration of Conservation Elephant Seal Team’s research funded in part by: The Office of Naval Research, Joint Industry Program, Año Nuevo Reserve; gray whale and vaquita research supported by Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries. The education program portion funded by WhaleTimes and supported by volunteer time and effort from the Science Teams themselves and WhaleTimes’ volunteers.

Thank you to our museum and science centers for letting us make a splash at your summer camps!

If you missed your chance to join us at a summer camp near you, the program will be back next year.

   

Vaquita Update June 2017: Next Step

Fifty vaquitas left, no, thirty, wait…seven more found dead in the last few months. The news is bleak for vaquitas as the population continues to decline.

A vaquita is a porpoise and the most endangered whale  in the world. Less than 30 survive.

Efforts to stop illegal fishing of the (critically endangered) totoaba and use of gillnets has been at the forefront of scientists and the Mexican Government. Unfortunately, vaquitas (and totoabas) continue to die. With the latest CIRVA report, scientists now believe the only way to save vaquita from extinction is to try to capture the porpoises and put them in safety away from gillnets. “The Mexican government and its conservation partners have organized a live capture effort to try to save the vaquita from extinction….” Read more in this Vaquita Update (courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

When you eat seafood, and only eat or buy sustainable seafood.  Find out how: What is Sustainable?

Are you doing everything you can to protect the ocean? Take the 30 Days to a Sustainable You Survey and find out.

The power to protect ocean animals like the vaquita is in your hands.

 

Celebration of Conservation SUMMER CAMPS!

NEW! Celebration of Conservation Summer Camps.  This summer, museums and science centers throughout the country will offer WhaleTimes’ Celebration of Conservation: Gray Whales, Elephants Seals, and Vaquita Summer Camps. 

Our  Celebration of Conservation highlights three important marine conservation stories – two successful stories and one still being written.  As part of TEAM VAQUITA, students learn about gray whales, elephant seals, and vaquita.  Gray whales and elephant seals were once so close extinction it’s amazing either species survived. Due to protection efforts and public awareness, both species are thriving. Both have been delisted (removed) from the endangered species list.  Vaquita, a kind of porpoise, needs that same kind of happy ending. It is the most endangered whale in the world. There are only 30 vaquita left in the world.

To register or find out more, check out the list below and contact the museum or science center near you.

Adventure Science Center Nashville, Tennessee
Catawba Science Center Hickory, North Carolina
Liberty Science Center Jersey City, New Jersey
Maine Discovery Museum Bangor, Maine
Museum of Discovery and Science Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network Newport, Oregon
Pacific Science Center Seattle, WA
St. Louis Science Center St. Louis, Missouri
Tallahassee Museum Tallahassee, Florida
Univ of Michigan Museum of Natural History Ann Arbor, Michigan
Museum of Discovery and Science Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

 

     

Vaquita video

Year of the Vaquita 2017

This 60 second video created by Oregon Coast Aquarium, part of TEAM VAQUITA, will quickly introduce you to the vaquita and the challenges being addressed by the Year of the Vaquita.

6-12th grade teachers, looking for vaquita-related activities and fact sheets for older students? Visit Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network.

K-5 Teachers, check out our Save the Vaquita K-5 fact sheets and activities. Better yet, enroll in our Celebration of Conservation program to learn more about vaquita, elephant seals, and gray whales.

Video courtesy of the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network

Sneak Peak at Save the Vaquita Curriculum

Here  is a sneak peak at two of our beautifully illustrated fact pages from our new Save the Vaquita k-5 Curriculum. Thank you to our talented illustrator Paul J. Lopez, for making the shy vaquita and totoaba stars! The curriculum is part of our Year of the Vaquita  program and  our Celebration of Conservation Virtual Research Mission 

Join TEAM VAQUITA and helps us raise awareness of vaquita,, totoaba, and how eating sustainable seafood can help save ocean animal.

 For more information on our Save the Vaquita program or if you are a teacher and would like to participate in our Celebration of Conservation program in March, contact us at   savethevaquita  at this URL

 

WhaleTimes introduces Year of the Vaquita

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WhaleTimes Director Ruth Musgrave with life size model of vaquita.

WhaleTimes’ team-vaquita-copyright-whaletimes-all-rights-reservedvolunteers spent a wonderful day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium helping raise awareness of the vaquita and how people can help save them. Most people were unaware of this adorable little porpoise. But were ready to join us and become part of TEAM VAQUITA. You can become part of TEAM VAQUITA, too. One way to help vaquita and other ocean animals is to demand sustainable seafood. If the restaurant or store doesn’t sell sustainable seafood, simply eat or buy something else. Save vaquita and other ocean animals by voting with your dollars.

Join us throughout 2017 to celebrate the Year of the Vaquita, raise awareness and save this beautiful little porpoise.

See 60 Minutes segment on Vaquitas

This 60 Minutes segment about vaquitas is a must watch!

Join WhaleTimes, Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network, and Southwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries as we celebrate 2017 Year of the Vaquita and Save the Vaquita Month every March. Don’t just join us, make a difference. DEMAND sustainable, traceable seafood.

Year of the VaquitaWhaleTimesCopyrightBTaylor

savethevaquita {at} this website