Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~
On June 1st, the 2012 nesting season came to an end, and the finial records show over 1,433 nests were recorded, and a estimated 105,600 hatchlings were released. Looking back over the past 22 years I’ve noticed one alarming trend, between mid-November and the end of May of this season we recorded over 72 nests. 72 nests was actually ten times more than we recorded over the entire first 12 years between mid-November and the end of May. On June 1st, the first day of the 2013 nesting season we found two nests, generally over the entire month of June we normally find no more than six. Are these late season nests a prelude to another huge season?
A special thanks to all our donors that have contributed to our marine turtle program this year and over the past two decades. We couldn’t do what we do without your help. We would also like to thank the Polo Club, La Patrona and Raphael Sprawls for the loan of a vehicle ‘the mule” after the dune buggy went up in flames last summer. To help in the collection of nests and the releasing of hatchlings, Raphael of the Polo Club has also offered to offset some of this summer’s dune buggy expenses by supplying gasoline.
New laws for an old problem, a feature article in the May 19th issue of the Banderas Newsletter details new laws issued by the Mexican Government to protect the marine turtle. The laws itself is eleven pages long, and at this time we are not sure how they laws will help our program.
Joslin, one of our volunteers has put together a Facebook page on our marine turtle actives, see San Pancho Turtles
This May we were able to complete the last major pre-season project. The completion of a new cement floor under the work area in front of the box nursery, the finishing touch will come in early June when we plan to setup a rain/shade tarp over the tables and equipment, and a new 20/80 shade cloth over the nursery, (see image below).
Weather wise, no unusual weather events, no rain or lightning, light winds, normal surf, and few clouds. Daytime temperatures were in the mid to high 80°s, while nighttime temps ranged from the mid 60°s to mid 70°s. Unlike last May, we have not yet received any thunderstorm activity, although from time to time cumulus clouds have been seen over the high mountains. The river is all but totally dry, and vegetation along hillsides are a dehydrated tan, but oddly a few trees in town and along the river beds are budding out in anticipation of the coming rains, I hope they’re right on this one.
Our first rainfall should have arrived in May if we’re lucky, and if unlucky, we could end up with a summer of drought, and when rains do arrive the amount can vary widely between 18 to 72 inches. Most of our annual rainfall comes from thunderstorm or hurricane related activities, and both are totally unpredictable at the best. While unlike the annual weather fronts that pass through US and Canada, prominent weather fronts rarely occur down here. Now add the three events above to a major shift to our Global Climate such as a rise of temperatures within the Pacific. Any major shift in our ocean temperatures will effect the strength, direction and the duration of the Sub-tropical jet stream over México, which will affect the arrival date and amount of rainfall and hurricanes we receive now and in the future.
Volunteer wise, following is a look into the lineup of this season 25 volunteers: 64% are former, 36% are new – 72% are female, 28% are male – 44% are under 49, and 46% are over the age of 50 - 1 is from Australia, 1 from Germany, 1 from Hungary, 4 from México, 2 from the United Kingdom, and 16 are from the US. For a better look at this lineup go to: Selected. And keep in mind, we still need the help of at least two more volunteer or two couples.
Town wise, There are three key construction projects in progress, crews on Hardesty’s museum property are building a rock retaining wall along the river, but have temporarily locked horns with the government on just where the lagoon begins or ends. Hardesty is planning to build several very nice homes and a hotel on this site. The gas station looks about finished except for the store which is still unfinished. Over the past two years the Polo Club, “La Patrona” has been carefully transforming the river basin above town into what will be in November a stylish world class polo grounds, featuring two polo fields, clubhouse, restaurant/bar and a equestrian training school - which now tutors jumping, dressage and many other equestrian skills. (see photo below) For more information and photographs go to La Patrona
In early May the pesos dipped to about 11.9 and by the end of the month rose to 12.6. Regular gasoline is $3.41 a gallon.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Students and contestants of May’s Pablo Braunshweig equestrian instructor jumpingequestria event Song Shan at the La Patrona’s Polo Field
Cement floor under the box nursery work area.