WHAT WE DO
We respond to reports of live and dead pinnipeds (seals and sea lions), live and dead cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), and live and dead sea turtles.
In coordination with PROFEPA we evaluate each case and determine whether or not the animal is in fact in need of our help, and what action needs to be taken.
THE FOLLOWING SCENARIOS MAY OCCUR:
An animal near or on shore is exhibiting normal behavior that was mistaken for distress. This is okay! We'd rather hear from you and have our experts assess the animal than miss an opportunity to respond to an animal in need. We appreciate your concern and all reports to our hotline/email!
Some examples of this may be animals that are:
Sunning themselves on the beach or rocks
Molting on the beach
Floating with one flipper sticking up in the air
ANIMAL PUT UNDER OBSERVATION
In some cases it may be more
stressful to the animal to intervene, or we need more time to assess the condition of the animal, or access may be limited or treacherous. In these scenarios we put the animal under observation for a period of hours or days. This may involve sectioning off an area of the rocks or beach with posts and signs, or
tracking the animal by boat from a safe distance.
PLAN FOR RESCUE
Once we deem that an animal requires rescue we plan for that next step. Sometimes a rescue effort may take days of planning to guarantee success, other times the threat to the animal is urgent and immediate assistance is required. We are equipped to handle the various scenarios, but must always prioritize the safety of our team, as well as that of the animal.
TO REPORT A STRANDING CALL OUR RESCUE HOTLINE AT:
OR EMAIL US AT email@example.com
A TYPICAL RESCUE PLAN INVOLVES 3 MAIN STEPS:
1. CATCH, RESTRAIN, AND SECURE
This is carried out by our trained and experienced team in coordination with the Government Authorities. Many times access to an animal is difficult and requires approach by boat. Animals may also require sedation to be captured so that we may assist them. Animals are then safely restrained and secured for rescue, evaluation, and transport.
2. INITIAL MEDICAL EVALUATION
Each animal is thoroughly assessed so that a transport plan can be put in place. The assessment involves an overview of the animals’ physical health and mental condition. There are many cases where treatment needs to begin in the field and we need to administer fluids or medications to ensure the animal can tolerate transport.
The safety of our team and the animal are our main priorities during a transport. Careful consideration is given to animal size, temperament, and the extent of the injuries or illness. Patients are securely transported to our facility for further assessment, treatment, and care.
Unfortunately, our best efforts don't always guarantee a successful outcome. A stranded marine mammal or sea turtle is already
severely compromised and what we offer is a last chance.
To continue our rescue efforts we need your support. It costs a great deal to rescue marine wildlife. Some of our rescue expenses include:
Fuel for truck/boats
Maintaining rescue equipment
Personal protective gear
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING BELOW.
FOR CORPORATE OR IN-KIND DONATIONS PLEASE EMAIL US AT firstname.lastname@example.org
WE APPRECIATE YOUR HELP!
All of our patients are given a thorough intake exam and blood and fecal samples are collected and analyzed to help us determine the correct course of treatment. Diagnoses are confirmed by our veterinarians and a treatment plan is established.
CARING FOR OUR PATIENTS
This is where our amazing volunteer team shines! Daily operations are carried out by our volunteers,
including feeding, monitoring, and adhering to treatment plans for our patients.
The level of care required is likely to be more acute for new arrivals, often requiring x-rays, scans, or surgery, and sometimes round the clock care.
Ongoing rehabilitative care involves managing the patients diet,
administering daily medications, and wound care as needed.
IDENTIFYING OUR PATIENTS
Each animal is assigned a unique ID and an ongoing medical record is created that will contain all the information on an individual animal from their arrival to their final destination. Daily feeding records medications, and lab results, as well as weight, physical changes, and behavioral observations, are all recorded.
INTERACTING WITH OUR PATIENTS
As much as we love our patients we have to continually respect the fact that these are wild animals and that our goal is to rehabilitate with the intention of reintroduction to the wild.. A key part of that is limiting our interactions with our patients to only what is necessary to administer treatment and care. Some animals may require routine force feedings or wound care when they arrive at our center, but once recovered and nearing release we are hands off. By interacting with a patient we could reinforce unwanted behavior and increase the likelihood that the animal seeks out human interaction and strands again.
TO HELP FEED OUR PATIENTS AND COVER MEDICAL COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH REHABILITATION PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING HERE.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFT!
Once we are confident that our patients are health, and strong enough to survive and thrive without any assistance, they are reintroduced (released) to their natural habitat.
Our criteria for release include:
Resolution of illness or infection
Adequate weight gain
Ability to forage/hunt
Rehabilitation of injuries
PREPARATION FOR REINTRODUCTION:
Sea Lions and seals (pinnipeds) are given a fin tag with a unique ID number for the purpose of
identification should the animal restrand or be found deceased. This also provides us the opportunity to identify animals that are doing well after reintroduction! Priority species
may also be given a satellite tag. Though cost prohibitive, a sat tag will tell us the animals location for a short period of time and provide us with valuable information post-release.
DETERMINING BEST LOCATION:
Pinnipeds are reintroduced to an
area with a wild colony of the same
species, and with at least one buddy when possible. If the seal/seal lion was extracted and rescued from a specific colony they will be released back to the same area they were found. We intentionally avoid areas with an excessive human presence.
Due to their physiology, dolphins require a more complex transport and level of care. Dolphin releases
are done by boat away from the shore.
Sea Turtles are reintroduced near the area where they were rescued, unless that location was atypical for the species and the animal ended up there as a result of injury or illness. We do a combination of beach and boat releases for sea turtles.
*All animals are released with the authorization of the Mexican Government Authority PROFEPA.
Reintroductions use a lot of our resources, from fueling our trucks and boats, to purchasing the satellite tags and transport equipment.
YOU CAN HELP CELEBRATE THE SUCCESSFUL REINTRODUCTION OF A PATIENT BY DONATING HERE.
WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
“No research without action, no action without research”
Each stranding we attend provides information that has the potential to aid research and conservation efforts. We are able to collect useful data from different tissues, fur, whiskers, blood, and even feces, from both live and deceased animals. This data can give us an idea of where the animals came from, what they have been feeding on, which parasites they have, if they carry disease, and if they harbor toxins and pollutants in their bodies.
At Mexico Marine Wildlife Rescue Center we collaborate with different researchers, institutions, and organizations, and provide them with the data they will find most useful for their studies. We believe that these collaborations are fundamental to better understanding these animals and the issues they face, so that we have better tools to protect and conserve them.
All of our efforts are oriented towards conservation and stewardship of our oceans. For that reason we encourage our student volunteers and interns to undertake research projects while working with us, keeping in line with these core principles.
In addition, we carry out continuous monitoring in La Paz Bay and surrounds, including the local islands where the southernmost
reproductive colony of California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) resides. We routinely conduct a population census and monitor the general condition of the colony. We are also able to identify previously tagged individuals, and look for injured or entangled animals that may need our assistance.
Tourism and fisheries in Baja are additional avenues that provide us a constant stream of information about marine wildlife. For this reason, we have have solidified relationships with service providers and the tourism sector, as well as with fishing cooperatives.
Monitoring, sample processing, and laboratory costs are ongoing expenses. To support some of our research efforts you can DONATE here.
CONTACT US to inquire about a research collaboration.
“People protect what they love.”
-Jacques Yves Cousteau
We know firsthand that so many of the rescues we partake in are a result of human impacts on marine wildlife and the environment, but we also recognize how many of these incidents can be attributed to ignorance and a lack of understanding.
It is our mission to make our work more impactful by educating our community and all stakeholders directly linked to our oceans and coastlines. Together we can make a difference and help prevent avoidable strandings of marine wildlife!
At Mexico Marine Wildlife Rescue Center we aim to promote stewardship of our oceans, beaches, bays and estuaries, as well as change habits, mentalities, and the perception of how much impact we actually have on marine life.
We lead a number of different workshops to train critical sectors of the population, such as tourist service providers, fishermen, and government entities in the techniques they can use to assist us and our extended network in stranding response and rescues, and we offer programs to teach school students and the general public about marine wildlife, stranding prevention, and conservation.
Our Education Initiatives Include:
Guest Lectures and Seminars
Community Outreach and Events
School Group Programs (K-12); virtual and at MMWRC
Internships for University Students
CONTACT US for more information, or to book one of our our education programs, lectures, events, or workshops.