International Save the Vaquita Day (July 18, 2020) is intended to be an annual event similar to Earth Day, but with a specific focus on raising awareness and appreciation of the world’s most endangered marine mammal, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus). Events around the globe direct the attention of people to the plight of this tiny porpoise species, and what needs to be done to save it from extinction. There are booths, educational brochures, inspirational talks, face painting etc. on hand at events around the world to draw attention to and appreciation of the vaquita, Mexico’s “Panda of the Sea”.
The primary goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the vaquita and its plight, and spur them to act. The species is nearly extinct, with only <30 individuals left, and declining at about 50% per year! We will have a simple message for folks about what they can do to help. Secondary goals are to gather signatures for our petitions to the Mexican government, and also to raise additional funds for future educational and research work on the vaquita. The event is designed to be fun, as well as educational, and kid-friendly!
As a volunteer for this event, you will be engaging members of the public to raise awareness for the vaquita porpoise and the conservation mission in Mexico.
Tasks and Responsibilities
- Interpret vaquita conservation issues
Talk to visitors about the vaquita porpoise and the ongoing conservation mission in Mexico.
- Help with crafts, interact with children
Assist children at our crafts table with their vaquita and porpoise crafts (colouring sheets, paper crafts).
- Assist with online event production
We are producing a live-streamed online component of this event, and we may ask you to help with the production.
- Criminal record check
We may require you to complete a criminal record check (which includes identity verification and vulnerable sector checks) as you will be talking to children and vulnerable adults in this role. In most cases, you will be able to do the criminal record check online, free of charge. Where the government charges fees, the Society will cover them.
You must be able to get from and to the event venue.
You must be available for a shift of at least 4 hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m local time to help with this event at any of our locations.
Volunteers need to be at least 16 years old.
- Online training/reading
You will receive a PDF study guide containing the history of the vaquita conservation mission, the latest update and general information that will bring you up to date and teach you everything you need to know. Experienced volunteers are at hand to provide additional information on the day of the event.
- Toronto Zoo (The Toronto Zoo is an accredited zoological facility and non-profit organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at 2000 Meadowvale Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5K7.)
- Vancouver Aquarium (The Vancouver Aquarium is a public aquarium located in Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2.)