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  • Painting of a vaquita female and calf
    © Frédérique Lucas
  • Adopt a Vaquita Porpoise Adoption Certificate

The vaquita is the smallest porpoise. Only about 30 animals remain, making it the world's most critically endangered marine mammal.

With a symbolic adoption, you can support our efforts to raise awareness for the vaquita and support our research, education and conservation efforts to prevent extinction.

  • Personalized, printable adoption certificate
  • Vaquita species profile
  • Spot on virtual recognition wall
  • Donation receipt for income tax purposes

Adopt a Vaquita Porpoise

With the symbolic adoption of a vaquita porpoise, you are helping us conserve porpoises and their habitats. Every adoption directly supports our research, education and conservation efforts.

Want to donate as a gift or on behalf of someone else? Check "Dedicate this donation" and the name you enter will appear on the adoption certificate.

What is a symbolic adoption?

One of the ways in which you can join us in our mission is through a symbolic adoption. By making a donation to our cause, you are providing us with critical support for our ongoing efforts to study, protect, and preserve vulnerable porpoise populations and their habitats.

Porpoises are often difficult to identify as individuals, which is why instead of focusing on one specific individual, our symbolic adoption program allows you to choose a species that you feel a special connection with. Through your donation, you are symbolically adopting a member of that species and contribute to our work to ensure their survival.

In recognition of your generous gift, you receive a personalized, printable adoption certificate as a way to show our appreciation of your commitment to our cause. With your support, we can continue to fight for the health and well-being of our oceans and the incredible creatures that call them home.

How will my donation be used?

Education, Outreach and Wildlife Interpretation: Every successful conservation initiative begins with public awareness. Through the development of our outreach and education programs, teachers, naturalists and scientists come together to educate the public on conservation issues that affect porpoises and their habitats: from ocean pollution to ocean noise, habitat destruction, accidental entanglement as by-catch and commercial hunting. The goal is to reach people of all ages and all walks of life, from school children to visitors at our study sites. Current projects include the development of lesson plans and classroom materials ─ and wildlife interpretation for the general public.

Advocacy & Direct Action: We work tirelessly to advocate for the protection of porpoises and their habitats. Your donations are vital in enabling us to engage with policymakers and stakeholders to implement new policies and strengthen existing regulations to advance conservation efforts. Your contributions also support our direct action initiatives, as we work on by-catch mitigation, habitat restoration and the promotion of environmentally responsible practices. We are currently raising funds for a campaign aimed at curbing the market for totoaba swim bladders in China, with the goal of protecting the critically endangered vaquita.

Research: To promote conservation efforts and to inform policy, we encourage and engage in all areas of scientific research involving porpoises and their habitats. Current projects include land and vessel based study of harbour porpoise, Dall's porpoise and Burmeister's porpoise ─ and the creation of a global sightings reporting platform. Studying habitat use and seasonal abundance helps researchers identify important habitats which forms a basis for conservation action and management decisions.

Why is the vaquita endangered?

The vaquita, an elusive porpoise species found only in Mexico's Sea of Cortez, teeters precariously on the edge of extinction ─ and people are to blame. The primary reason for their situation is accidental bycatch, a devastating consequence of illegal fishing practices. Vaquitas frequently become collateral victims as they inadvertently get entangled in the fishing nets deployed for the totoaba, a large species of fish sought after on the black market. Once entangled, they quickly drown.

The totoaba's swim bladder, a delicacy with purported medicinal properties, fetches exorbitant prices, particularly in certain Asian markets and has been dubbed "the cocaine of the sea". The demand has led to a surge in illicit fishing activities, exacerbating the plight of the vaquita and driving the totoaba to the brink of extinction as well.