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Vaquita

A Purchase for a Porpoise

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Tags: AZA SAFE, vaquita, pangolin

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Consumer Conservation

Step inside the Safari West Gift Gallery and encounter an amazing offshoot of our ongoing conservation mission. Among the t-shirts and toys, geodes and jackets, you’ll find the hard-working Conservation Corner. Since its opening in 2016, the Conservation Corner has specialized in items with a mission and it’s the place to be if you want your dollars to do some good for wildlife in trouble.

There’s a tremendous variety of items for sale in the Conservation Corner and they range from decorations and trinkets to tools and books. Some of what we sell there can be used to help you live a more conservation-minded life; items like reusable water bottles, silverware, and straws. These are items that fit easily in a backpack or purse and reduce the amount of plastic waste we generate as we go about our daily business.

Other items include products crafted by some of our conservation partners. Purchasing any one of these items puts cash directly into the pockets of the people on the front lines. These can be researchers and advocates working to conserve some of the world’s most endangered species. It can also be the locals who live right alongside some of these animals every day; locals who without this source of income, might be forced to find other avenues of work that are detrimental to the resident wildlife.

From Baja to Vietnam

Vaquita Olson NOAA

One of the greatest things about the Conservation Corner is that, regardless of what you buy, a percentage of each purchase is earmarked for conservation. Every quarter, we pick one organization to fundraise for and over the course of that quarter, 10% of sales gets set aside.

This quarter, the mission of choice is vaquita conservation. The vaquita is an incredibly rare and absolutely unique marine mammal. A small porpoise found only in the northernmost reaches of the Gulf of California. They were declared Critically Endangered back in 1996 when estimates put their total population at fewer than 600 animals. Today there are no more than 30 remaining, making this fascinating creature the most endangered cetacean on the planet.

Soon enough we’ll be totaling up the funds generated by the Conservation Corner and doing what we can to help this one-of-a-kind species. Next quarter, we’re dedicating our fundraising activities to an amazing organization called Save Vietnam’s Wildlife. There are numerous species at risk in Vietnam; among them, the fascinating pangolin. Eight pangolin species exist on planet earth, all of them endangered to some degree. The two species known to wander through the Vietnamese wilderness have become critically endangered.

There’s still time to conserve these important and amazing creatures and one tiny way to show your support is to make a purchase in the Conservation Corner. Join us as we do what we can to conserve wildlife both here in Sonoma County and in the world at large!

Jared Paddock

Jared Paddock

Safari West staff and conservation writer.