Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
The year of the Leatherback, the second and third nests were found on December the 6th, and 14th, both were left in place on Playa Questo. It would be nearly impossible for a poacher to locate and dig up the nest, as it is about 39 inches in depth to the top and the sand is extremely dry.
At the end of December we reach a record 1,412 nests, or 362 more than any other season, and may reach 1,420 nests by season end. The poachers ran off with 45 nests.
72,036 hatchlings released from 870 nests at 86.4% from the box nursery
349 hatchlings released from 50 nests at 7.5% from the first group, beach nursery
18,232 hatchlings released from 256 nests at 73.5% from the second group, beach nursery
8,890 hatchlings released from 115 nests at 82.0% moved to a better location or left in place
99,507 hatchlings were released by December 31st from 1,301 nests
1,400 estimated hatchlings released from 16 nests at 86.4% from the box nursery
3,319 estimated hatchlings released from 49 nests at 77.0% from the third group, beach nursery,
104,226 hatchlings at 80.0% for the season from 1,363 nests
Weather wise, daytime temperatures were in the high 70°s to mid 80°s, while night temps were in the mid 60°s to low 70°s, nights temps were the warmest they’ve been in at least two years. Total rainfall this year came to 38.75 inches, with no rain since October 8th, however the jungle is showing no stress due to the lack of moisture. After running free for nearly five months the river’s passage to the sea was finally plugged by the beach, despite several attempts on the part of the locals to keep it open.
December Volunteers: Joslin, Summer and Starlie Bertrand, Gale Greer and Lorren Garlichs, all from the US, Kim Arthur from Australia, and Patricia and Peter Riley from Canada. (See photo below)
Town wise, our not-so-new gas station is still gathering cobwebs. New construction is at a standstill, although I’ve occasionally seen a load or two of blocks and several dump trucks pass by the house. The peso is around 12.3 to 12.7, while gasoline is about $3.37 to $3.05 a gallon. Immigration has moved to Nuevo Vallarta.
Over the years many people have drowned in rip-tide like conditions off the shores of San Pancho. Inform your friends, family and guests that the ocean here can be dangerous at times, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. The best time to swim is at low tide during calm waves, and in the area at the extreme south of the beach. Also take a strong, experienced swimmer with you, and don’t play on the rocks at the north end of the beach during high waves.
The full and half size 2013 Homeowners Directory can be obtained at my house between noon and midnight, although you can call me for a special delivery. Any one in San Pancho can place an ad in the yellow pages at no cost, and everyone living in San Pancho with a phone will be listed in the back of the directory. The Map and the Sponsor’s pages list more detailed information about our contributors. Call and let me know if you would like a half size directory.
A year end audit of the Group’s finances shows that we had spent 70,600 more pesos than we were able to gain in donations. This deficit is a serious problem since we generally bring in a little more than we spend or break even. In any case the shortage was a result of having to care for 362 nests than ever before, rebuilding of both nurseries, and the buggy fire.
A new feature here, excerpts from an old newsletter about ten years ago:
“It had been our goal from the beginning to leave the nests in the beach, when and if we could ever stop the poachers. It was ten years from this day that we began our work, although today’s problems are a little more complex, with lights, domestic dogs, piles of floating debris, horseback riding, and vehicles on the beach, all posing a serious threat to both the marine turtles, their hatchlings, and our plans to succeed. It will take the cooperation of the hotel, the entire community, and especially those who live along the beach to succeed. One other serious problem looms in the future, homes are scheduled to be built along the beach, and as we have experienced in the past, contractors will bring new employees in to town, and they will soon be on the beach poaching!!”
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Leatherback hatchlings, our first in 1993