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Hola Volunteers, and Supporters -

As of September 22nd, we have recorded over 232 Olive Ridley nests. From this amount, 215 have been relocated to our nursery, and 12 have been relocated to other locations on the beach for their protection. The 232 nests is a little more than half the 422 nests found at this time last year. The Mexican government had predicted that the number of nests would be reduced by half due to dryer than normal weather in May and June. Only three nests have been taken illegally, but ironically not by poachers, but tourists.

Incubation of the nests collected in July has been a little disappointing. As mentioned in the last newsletter, the problem was due in part to the lack of thermal-mass in the nursery during the first month of Incubation. Although beyond the 50th nest, the survivable rate is back to normal between 75 to 95%. The remaining boxes have maintained good to excellent temperatures and should hatch very well.

It seems that almost everything is out to lunch on the marine turtle's eggs and young from a 250-pound poacher, tourist, dog, cats, birds, grabs, fly larvae and again the smallest of all, the miniature red ant. Just days ago the nursery was attacked for the first time in three years by thousands of these savages. Within a time frame of five hours they had killed over 54 hatchlings in four boxes. A column of ants lead us back to their nest, and "Stop Ant" did the rest.

By the first week of September all international volunteers had returned home. Volunteers from San Pancho quickly filled in to keep the program moving. We planned to have at least four new volunteers in place shortly after the 5th of September, but only one, David Dunn, arrived which has left us short-handed at the peak of the nesting season. We are looking for more volunteers that can get here quickly, if interested please send us an e-mail now.

We had found and purchased for $120 the perfect replacement front-end suspension system for our dune buggy. It was transported to the Santana Volkswagen shop in Puerto Vallarta where it was repaired and on the 23rd of September the shop will replace the old suspension system.

Two weeks of moderate rain in the first half of September has caused our local river to run normally for the first time in over a year. Unfortunately the slash and burn frenzy within the mountains beyond town have brought torrents of muddied water to the sea and spread debris across the beaches as it had in 1997 through 2000

After years of maintaining a free of charge web site we will now have to pay. This fact was brought too our attention after we discovered that the web site had been shut down for several weeks. The site is back online today after we made the first monthly payment of $26.50. With the help of Jeff Silverman, we are planning to slowly phase out the
www.vallartaonline.com/costaverde over the coming six months and replace it with project-tortuga.org. We will also being phasing out tortuga@pvnet.com.mx .Our new e-mail is not known at this time.

Our Local hotel, 'The Costa Azul Adventure Resort', has afforded both the local schools and Grupo Ecológico an opportunity to raise money this fall. It works like this; during the ten day San Pancho Celebration, (September 26th through October 5th), the Resort will give the Group 25% of their profits made from any of the twenty-nine '$120 Room Only Rates'. This is a great opportunity for the Group to raise needed funding and for people visiting San Pancho to take part in the celebrations (the running of the bulls, the carnival and fireworks displays.) The group will also be giving evening tours and presentations at the nursery, with young hatchlings being released later in the evenings.

For more information please e-mail us.

Frank D.Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.

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