Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
Considering the 32 inches of rain we’ve received over the last two months, the first group of 20 nests within the beach nursery hatched better than expected at 38% far below normal. To avoid the damage of continuous rains we began placing nests in the box nursery on July 12th, two weeks earlier than planned. Unfortunately, by August 29th, it was filled to capacity and once again we were forced to place a second group in the beach nursery. Then, on August 31st, a combination of a high tide of 4.4 feet and 14 foot storm waves completely destroyed it (see photos below). The fate of the 30 nests within is unknown, although a foot of sand has washed over the nests. At 1:00am in the morning on September 1st and 2nd, waves had covered the entire beach and washed in as high as Calle Cuba and the Costa Azul swimming pool (not the first time it has been flooded). By the end of August, the nest totals were: 50 nests placed in the beach nursery, 314 placed in the box nursery, 13 nests taken by poachers and 6 nests left on the beach: for a total of 374.
As in the past years, we will begin releasing large numbers of hatchlings throughout September, October and up to mid-November. When hatchlings are released it is essential to keep them traveling in the direction of the pale blue-green light (bio and chemical illumination) of the ocean waves. Bearing in mind that strong light (i.e. porch, garden lights, etc.) can overpower their ability to chose the correct direction, any move toward artificial light could result in their untimely death as they find themselves in a blazing hot sandy desert shortly after sunup.
The Group’s only transportation, a 20-year old Ford, crew-cab pickup, is on its last legs and must be replaced. Since neither I nor the Group have the funds to replace it, we are asking for help. If you know of a vehicle that could be donated, borrowed or purchased at a small price please let us know. Ideally, it should seat six, have Mexican plates, and be completely road-worthy. Thanks!
Weather-wise, hot and humid but nothing out of the ordinary for July, although nights seem to be cooler than normal. The season rainfall is at 32 inches, nearly double the normal amount for late August. The raging arroyo is keeping the lagoon open to the sea.
Volunteer-wise, unfortunately, between August 26th and September 12th, we will be operating with only four volunteers, three on the beach at night (10pm to 5am) and Joslin in the morning from 5:30am on. This is a far cry from the customary 14 we should have, but, never-the-less, the work is getting done with no undue loss to nests, hatchlings or volunteers, except for the loss of sleep. August volunteers were: Joslin, Starlie and Summer Bertrand, Gale Greer, Lorren Garlichs, Lisa, Annie Carly and Hoffner and Thomas Marhold. For less than a week: Terri Kirk, Kim Pelligra, Paige Pelligra, Ken Graham and David Zeligs
Town-wise, at the rate they are building the new gas station, it should be finished by the end of the year, if that. With near-zip vacationers in town, most shops have closed for the summer. The peso is hanging around 12 or better to the US dollar.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
The beach nursery after August 31st waves, it was hit three
daya in a row Sept 1st and 2nd.