Acoustic Sensors for Rare Porpoise
A collaborative research effort between NOAA Fisheries's Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the Instituto Nacional de Ecología, SEMARNAT, tracks the world's most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita, in the Gulf of California. A recent article by Rex Dalton in the journal Nature describes the collaborative effort to develop acoustic monitoring devices and shares a rare photo of the vaquita.
The Vaquita Expedition 2008 is Now Underway!
The Vaquita Expedition 2008 got underway recently. This project will investigate innovative acoustic methods to monitor the elusive vaquita (the Gulf of California harbor porpoise). The effort represents an international collaboration among scientists and researchers from SWFSC and a number of other institutions. More information about this research can be found at Vaquita Expedition 2008 on our website. (Artwork by Barb Taylor)
Extinction of the Baiji a 'Wake-up Call' to Conserve Vaquita and Other Cetaceans: An Interview with Dr. Jay Barlow
SWFSC researcher Jay Barlow is interviewed about the loss of the baiji (Yangtze River dolphin) as a species. He discusses what this revelation means for other cetaceans who are endangered, like the critically endangered vaquita in the Gulf of California, and for the associated conservation efforts. The interview transcript can be read online. (Photo Credit: mongabay.com website; Wang Ding and the Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Assessing Populations of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins
In response to international concern by scientists and conservationists about recent live-captures and exports of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands, a workshop to identify methods for assessing the potential impacts of captures of dolphins was held on 21-23 August 2008 at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in Apia, Samoa. SWFSC researcher Bob Brownell participated in this workshop. A press release by SPREP provides more details about the nature of the concerns and the workshop focus and outcomes. (Photo Credit: SPREP website)
Can the Vaquita Be Saved?
An article in Science (August 8, 2008), "Can the Vaquita Be Saved?" (PDF reprint) highlights the work of Barb Taylor who will be the chief U.S. scientist (co-chief scientist with Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho) on the Vaquita Expedition 2008. Scientists and researchers from the U.S., Mexico, and other countries are collaborating in this international effort to save the species from extinction.
To learn more about this effort, please visit Vaquita Expedition 2008 on our website to find more information about the vaquita and the research challenges for surveying this dwindling population and monitoring the effectiveness of conservation strategies. (Photo Credit: Alejandro Robles, 1985)
Satellite Tracking of Killer Whales in Antarctica
SWFSC researchers were involved in a project in Antarctica to study movement patterns of killer whales. The results of this research are being published in Polar Biology. This research was featured in a National Geographic News article. A brief review of this research, including photos and an animation of tracks, is presented in the Tagging and Tracking section of the Multimedia Gallery on our website (under Marine Mammal Research).
ORCAWALE 2008 Survey is Underway
The Oregon, California, Washington Line-Transect and Ecosystem (ORCAWALE) cruise officially begins during the week of July 28th. ORCAWALE is a cetacean and ecosystem assessment survey that is periodically conducted from the US-Mexico to the US-Canada border and seaward to 300 nautical miles. The cruise will be conducted aboard the NOAA Ship McArthur II this year. The ship will fuel and calibrate the EK-60 on Monday, July 28th, sailing very late in the evening to begin regular operations. Jay Barlow is Chief Scientist and Cruise Leader for Leg 1.
More information about ORCAWALE 2008 is available on our website.