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Save the Vaquita

It’s international Save the Vaquita Day! These tiny porpoises are the smallest of any whale/dolphin/porpoise, and there may be 50 or fewer of them left. Here are (possibly) all of the vaquitas in the world:

Vaquitas

Let’s put that into some meaningful perspective. That’s just 3.8 times the total number of movies in The Land Before Time franchise.

LandBeforeTime

There are twice as many people in the US Senate than there are vaquitas:

Senate

And there are nearly 100 times more people in the US with the last name “Shark”.
Shark

Read more about the vaquita from the Center for Biological Diversity and the WWF, and spread the word about this amazing species before it goes the way of the less fortunate dinosaurs.

Museum of the Earth

MuseumExhibit

Near Ithaca, NY this weekend? Come visit PRI’s Museum of the Earth and hear me speak on Saturday as part of their Wild Weather Weekend! They put together an exhibit based on my comics and I can’t wait to see it in person.

Plus, on Sunday I’ll be leading a nature walk at the Cayuga Nature Center. Nature geek times!

The Albatross and the Spoon

This is a story about albatrosses and spoons.

Here’s a Laysan Albatross:
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And here’s a spoon:

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Albatrosses are amazing. They choose their mates via an elaborate and often hilarious dance. They mate for life, and can live for 50 years. They also have HUGE wingspans:

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Many Laysan Albatrosses squawk and dance and raise their chicks on a little atoll in the middle of the North Pacific called Midway.

It’s as isolated as you can get. Still, bits of plastic trash (like bottle caps, toys, and spoons) wash from the land and down into the oceans, and currents carry it all the way out to Midway.

The albatrosses are very good at dancing and long-term relationship maintenance, but they’re bad at distinguishing plastic from delicious fish.

There are plenty of unfortunate pictures of albatrosses and plastic online, but they’re hard to look at, so here’s a picture of a majestic black-footed albatross awkwardly trying to attain the magic of flight:

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This is where that spoon comes in. It’s ice cream and frozen yogurt season, and there are zillions of plastic spoons everywhere. But you can break the unlikely connection between plastic and albatross in many ways – and one way is to carry a metal spoon with you instead. There are some lovely ones; here’s one of my favorites.

If someone asks you why you’ve got a metal spoon with you, I suggest gazing into the sky and whispering “for the albatross”. Bonus points if you dance.

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Reblogged for Earth Day and the love of goofy birds.