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Founded 1977

Save The Whales' purpose is to educate children

and adults about marine mammals, their

environment and their preservation. 
Ages 12-17

Four young women submitted not only outstanding artwork, but their comments are mature and incisive. We share the winners with you in alphabetical order. They are all winners!

"The vaquita can't help themselves, so we need
to and that's why they need to be saved."

Why should we care about one species of porpoise? Because if we have the ability to save an animal, we should. Unlike other endangered animals, the vaquita has a home - the waters of the Gulf of California. The waters where they live are still there; it's only the fishermen's nets that put them in danger.

Some animals that are very endangered have no habitat left to support them; the vaquita still has a home to live in. The vaquita was once thought to be extinct, the fact that it isn't should be a wakeup call.

If someone found a live dinosaur, we would be racing to protect it because it was extinct and we know very little about them. The vaquita is on its way to extinction, but we can stop this and protect this "little cow" of the sea. There is a fine line to walk between allowing fishermen to have a living and protecting a species that is being harmed by their nets.

I'm not sure what the answer to this problem is, but there has to be a better solution than wiping out an entire species of porpoises so that people can make a living.

The vaquita can't help themselves, so we need to and that's why they need to be saved.


Grace Carberry, age 12



"We and we alone are responsible for the

vaquitas' critically endangered status.  


A small porpoise swims through the waters of the Gulf of California, propelling itself with its small tail flukes. The black markings on its eyes and mouth are similar to that of a panda's - earning it the nickname, the "sea panda." Just like the panda, it is near the brink of extinction.

Many vaquitas are caught in gillnets each year, decreasing their population critically. With less than a hundred of them left, they need our help now more than ever. Considering that we humans decreased their population in the first place, it is our responsibility to help save them. Humans weren't created with amazing brains and put at the top of the food chain for nothing - we were created as protectors of our planet and all of the animals, plants and people on it.  

We and we alone are responsible for the vaquitas' critically endangered status. It's our time to make things right. This should be our way of giving back to nature all that we have taken from it - we will save one of the most unique (and adorable) species on this earth - the vaquita.


Julia Drennan, age 12



VContest Audrey Myers

"All that needs to be done is completely ban the use of
gillnets and totoaba nets throughout the vaquitas' range, and
this species will most likely recover."

The reason we need to save the vaquita is because they are a very unique species. They are the smallest cetacean species in the world and are very different from other porpoises. We still know very little about the vaquita's behavior and ecology in the wild. Most people don't even know that the vaquita exists. This is our last opportunity to learn about and study this rare cetacean before it disappears forever... unless we act now.

The vaquita's habitat is still clean and healthy. The waters of the Sea of Cortez, where vaquitas live, are not polluted. Besides the gillnets and totoaba nets which kill many vaquitas every year, there are no other major threats to the vaquita. All that needs to be done is completely ban the use of gillnets and totoaba nets throughout the vaquitas' range, and this species will most likely recover.

Also, if we save the vaquita from extinction this will be an amazing conservation success story, inspiring people not to give up on endangered species. This little porpoise, that most people have never heard of, could go down in history as a great conservation success and remind people that it's never too late to make a difference.


Audrey Myers, age 13



"If we lost them, we would be losing a member of

our family of creatures on our home called Earth."


I think it is very important to Save The Vaquita Porpoises. They may be small but like all cetaceans, their hearts are huge and ours should be too. We need to reach out to these little creatures to stop their extinction.

The vaquitas mainly try to avoid boats, so the fact that more and more of them are being caught in fishing nets means it's very important to find out where these porpoises are and stop people fishing them altogether.

I love all creatures, sea and land, and they all deserve a chance at life that other animals, now extinct, never got. All the threats to these porpoises have to stop. Even if the vaquitas' lives were not at stake, I would want all of it to stop, especially the pollution that is ruining more lives than just the whales.

These cute little creatures must be saved. They are actually extremely helpful to the world, even if we don't notice it. Although many other sea creatures keep the numbers of fish in order, the vaquitas help to do that too. You could say, "Oh, it's just one species, what will it hurt?" But that could happen to any of the sea creatures until they are all extinct. Then what? Just like on land, animals need to keep order so there isn't an overflow of too many animals. If we lost them, we would be losing a member of our family of creatures on our home called Earth.


 Gabriella Wieder, age 14



Ages 6-11




David Myers, age 9 

The reason I want to save the vaquita is because there are less than 100 of them left. They are threatened by drowning because of fishing nets that seem invisible to a vaquita. By the way, we don't want the pain that we had when the Yangtze River Dolphin became extinct.

Garrett Myers, age 7

The vaquita should be saved because they are cute and they deserve to live. Also because people want to see vaquitas and learn about them. 






It was announced in late July by CIRVA 5 that the vaquita population is dwindling, and there are an estimated 97 individuals remaining. This is shocking news. The population was being demolished by fishing for shrimp and fish and accidental vaquita deaths by drowning. Then the Chinese began fishing for totoaba, an endangered fish, in order to harvest its swim bladder after which the fish is left to rot on the beach. The bladders, used as an aphrodisiac, bring thousands of dollars.The vaquita are killed when they are trapped in the totoaba nets. Now the vaquita and totoaba, both endangered, are being driven to extinction.

The Mexican Government is going to determine soon if the nets should all be removed in order to save the vaquita. Even if it is determined to remove the nets, it will be a lengthy process.  The nets need to be removed NOW. The vaquita must be protected by Mexican law enforcement. 

Please sign our petition and those of other groups.  Have your friends do the same. It is important to help in whatever way you can. To save them, it will take require world action.


   M1 signature



Maris Sidenstecker I 

Executive Director, Save The Whales 

501(c)(3) nonprofit organization  

  Voted Top-Rated NonProfit 2013    

Vaquita Face






Vaquita Song  

(Sung to Tune of Frére Jacques)


Vaquita, Vaquita

Small and shy,
hard to spy

You're from Mexico,


don't you know

Please don't go,

Please don't go.


Vaquita, Vaquita

Small and rare,  

it's not fair

That you're disappearing,

Extinction is nearing.

Please don't go,

Please don't go.


©2014 Noelle Carter &  

Susan Stoll

Auburn Discovery Montessori School

Auburn, CA


Share the Vaquita Song with your classroom, club and friends.   




Save The Whales has provided data devices for fish- ermen in the Sea of Cortez so that they are aware when they have strayed into vaquita protected territory. We've given away thousands of coloring books
in English and Spanish to children in Mexico and the United States.


Purchase of an Adopt a Vaquita kit helps to fund these projects and others.


With the symbolic adoption kit, you receive:


An 8x10 glossy color photograph of a vaquita in the wild;


A personalized Adopt A Vaquita certificate;    


4-page color vaquita newsletter; 


Letter to the United Nations for your signature;


Save The Whales window sticker;


Viva Vaquita window sticker; and


A vaquita dog tag necklace (suitable for all ages and both sexes) and may also be purchased individually.  


Vaquita Facts 


Vaquita is the smallest ceta- cean at about 5 feet (1.5 m) long.     


Vaquita calves are born in spring (March/April).   


Vaquita's lifespan is about 20-21 years.


Vaquita has only been known to science since 1958.   


Vaquita means "little cow" in Spanish. 

Vaquita's range (about 4,000 sq. km) is one-fourth the size of metropolitan Los Angeles.   
Vaquita's home is a mere four-hour drive from San Diego, CA.

Vaquitas give birth only every other year, unlike other porpoises.


Vaquita's fate is tied to the upper Gulf of California ecosystem.  


Vaquita could be lost in two years if we do not act NOW!



Save The Whales Public Service Announcement




Save The Whales produced a 30-second radio Public Service Announcement with the voice of Jose Hernandez in English and Spanish to save vaquita. If you have a source in your area to air the PSA, please contact us.

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Send checks to: 


Save The Whales
1192 Waring St.

Seaside CA 93955



You Can Also Help by Donating Your Car, RV or Motorcycle


Save the Whales is partnered with Cars 4 Causes® to process their vehicle donations. Cars 4 Causes®  is America's first vehicle donation charity and specializes in turning donated vehicles into cash for your favorite charity.  


Donating a vehicle to Cars 4 Causes® will raise funds for Save The Whales when you specify this organization. 



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