Hola Volunteers and supporters -
By October 22nd, over 289 nests had been found. Of this number, 263 have been placed in the nursery, 16 relocated back into the beach, eight taken by others than poachers, and 2 miscellaneous. Of the 263 nests within the nursery, 152 or 58% have hatched producing 10,675 hatchlings.
The lack of thermo mass within the nursery throughout the month of July had caused unexpected poor temperatures. Today we are taking measures to make sure this same problem does not happen during December and January. We are keeping all nest boxes within the nursery filled with sand, whether they contain eggs or not. This action will keep the interior temperature stable and temperate.
The Groups dune buggy received extraordinary improvements last month when the Santana Volkswagen garage installed a like-new front-end suspension system, plus new heavy-duty spring/gas shocks on the rear axles. The result is better than hoped for; it now moves along the beaches smoothly and exactly where you steer it, over the roughest and driest beaches, as quiet as a church house mouse.
Costa Azul’s promotional over the San Pancho Days celebrations netted zero returns for the Group. Understandable, as generally during the celebrations there would be at least a dozen or more seasonal-homeowners and over fifty guests at the hotel, this year, only two homeowners and a hand full of hotel guests were present. We thank the Costa Azul for thinking of us and for their efforts.
After two months of volunteer work, Dave Dunn returns home on October 27th. Dave was the last volunteer of this season. Les and Leora Rohssler, our first ever volunteers in 1994, spent ten days with us in early October. (See image below)
Strange weather. Except for the first two weeks of September that produced some heavy rain, the weather has been dry this entire year. The September rains kept the river flowing to the sea for a month.
Almost an entire nesting season has elapsed, and poaching, as we have known it in the past, has ended. It had been our goal from the beginning to leave the nests in the beach, when and if we could ever stop the poachers. Ten years from the day, we started our work, it has become a reality, although today problems are a little more complex. Lights, domestic dogs, piles of floating debris, horseback riding, and vehicles on the beach all posing serious threats to both the marine turtles, their hatchlings, and our plans. If we are to succeed, it will take the cooperation of the hotel and the entire community, especially those who live along the beach. One other serious problem looms in the future. New homes are scheduled to be built along the beach, and as we have experienced in the past, when contractors bring new employees to town, they are soon on the beach poaching!!
Last month I mentioned that PV Net was about to charge us for hosting our website. When they discovered that we were a Nonprofit Organization, they dropped the fees. We would like to express our appreciation to Vallartaonline and PV Net for their years of help and technical support in hosting our web site.
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, Jeff Silverman is helping us rebuild and slowly phase out our website over the coming four month and replace it with a new website. We will also being phasing out our e-mail address and replacing it with firstname.lastname@example.org. If interested now, you can take a look at our new web pages as they are being built, www.project-tortuga.org We welcome your comments on our progress.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Dave Dunn, Leora and Les Rohssler