~ Newsletter No. 216, January, 2020 ~
Hola Volunteers and Supporters, it has been a busy month here at the Turtle project, here is a rundown of everything that has happened! ~
Turtle wise: The season will come t o an end on May 31st. Meantime on January 7th the last of 688 nests within our box nursery was cleaned and their hatchlings released. On the beach 165 nests were relocated for their protection while 3% were poached or washed out by high waves. The grand total recorded came to 879 nests while 72,237 hatchlings were released so far to date.
Due to the abnormal El Niño weather conditions the total number of nests recorded at all nurseries up and down the coast dropped by about 10% below normal. This is generally a normal situation during El Niño events. Also unlike most other years we found no dead turtles this season.
Aside from an increasing problem with the dogs digging up nests one other troublesome fact remains. The number of male hatchlings incubated this season was 10% above normal. The problem being an over population of male turtles can cause the drowning of the females during mating. This happens when frantic mating competition between two or three males climbs on the back of a female and the weight holds her under water for several hours. Two males to three females is perfect. More than that ratio can be deadly.
We are receiving many letters and e-mails asking about the possibility of attending a hatchling release or helping us. Unfortunately the nesting season is over. All hatchlings have been released and no help is needed at this time. We do invite visitors to drop by our facility and see our program firsthand.
We would like to thank the following contributors and those who have purchased T-shirts for their financial support of our program over the past month.
Jack and Franny Bischof
Winter Volunteer: Robert Klusmeryer, Manuel Murrieta, and Joslin Carson, Julio Gonzales and America Tejas, Juan Flores and family, Karen Sorum and Hallie Loveridge and Nicole Sanders.
Enlisting volunteers last season was a difficult task especially throughout September and October. I am hoping the task will be easier this year. I am scheduled to undergo back surgery and may need your help. The other problem is not being able to enlist enough return or former (staff) volunteers which is a necessary tool to teach newer volunteers. Try and join us and if you know someone that might join have them contact us. Take a look at our new volunteer website
Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures were in the high 70°s to mid-80°s, while night time temps were in the low to mid 60°s. December rainfall came to an incredible 6.13 inches. Most of this rain came on New Year’s day which unfortunately dropped night time temperatures down into the high 50°s for short periods of time.
Town and Country wise: The windchill and twelve hours of rain caused the death of many iguanas in the Las Olas area. The lagoon was forced open to the sea on New Year’s night and must have been a little terrifying for tent campers in the front of lagoon. In any case it was good to flush out the lagoon at this time of year.
The image below was taken around 1991. It shows several palm cabanas located in front of the Las Palmas and Los Marcos Restaurants. According to several locals these cabanas were built in the early 50’s. The question is how could they survive about 43 years without being washed out by high waves? The answer according to NOAA records (see chart below) is that there were no tropical storms before or after their construction until the early 90’s. Since 1971 there has been a sharp increase in tropical storms and El Niño activities within our area and what washed them out was the first hurricanes that arrived in the early 90’s.
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
This US Weather Bureau chart shows very little tropical storm activities between the first records in 1900 up until 1971. Is this climate change or what????