~ Newsletter No. 234 August, 2021~
Hola Volunteers and Supporters ~
Turtle wise: Since May 1st we have recorded over 532 nests. This number remains a record and is an indicator that the 2021 season may be unusually large. In August, we recorded and relocated over 389 nests, while the poachers have taken around 4%, and about 3% have been washed out due to high waves.
Okay, here is a fairytale that many people believe to this day: Save every single hatchling, by keeping the birds, dogs, crabs, and fish from eating them, dig them up and carry them to the sea. Sounds good, although overpopulation would soon become a very serious problem. Nature did not envision that every single egg and hatchling would survive to become an adult.
Now let’s see what happens after five years when just one turtle lays two nests a year, of around a total of 192 eggs, and all survive. After five years this one turtle now produced over 260,919,263,232 offspring. The truth is a turtle will normally reproduce itself 2 to 5 times in a lifetime, or only one adult will survive out of 1,670 hatchlings that slip into the sea. At the very best only one of her hatchlings will survive once every 10 years.
We are exceptionally indebted to the August donors: Karen Hope, Jennifer Nelsen, Rickey Burke, Patricia and Lalo de Avila, Sean and Jen Rule, Redbubble Inc., Linda Samuels, Lucinda Smedley, Patti Van Leer, E Grant and Gale Greer. To donate go to Grupo Ecológico's PayPal portal. Because of the pandemic, we have no other way of obtaining donations aside from PayPal, so help if you can.
Weatherwise, daytime temperatures have been in the mid- to very high-80°, while nighttime temperatures have been in the low to mid-70°. Total rainfall for the year came to 45.5 inches, and for August it was 18.67 inches. Again, a near record for June/August . Of the 19 tropical storms, depressions, and hurricanes that passed south of us, none have caused any serious problems.
We would like to thank our July volunteers: Karen Sorum, Hallie Loveridge, Matt Steiniger, Sean, Jenifer, and Max Rule, Guillermo, Laia, Joaquin Camila and Sofia Kessy, and Esteban Millard. Also, we would like to thank many members of the community that have stepped forward to help during this period while we are short of help.
I don’t know how to put this politely, but this season has been one of the most difficult on records. First, we have lost six very good past volunteers due to varies health problems. (Not Covid-19.) Second, the fear of the pandemic has caused over twenty-eight volunteers to cancel after enlisting. Third, we were without a telephone and internet for twelve days when we needed it the most. Fourth, the entire beach is covered from waves to walls with tons of floating debris and litter, making it difficult to drive over. And fifth, no reverse in the buggy, but who needs reverse. Despite all these problems, we are in very good spirits while collecting a near record number of nests, and again would like to thank the locals folks for overwhelming help.
A cry for help from all the hatchlings. “Please don’t dig us up and place us in a box or plastic container for hours, we are hatchlings, not a toy to play with. We have only enough energy within our yoke material to supply us oxygen under the sand, to reach the surface and the sea. What remains of our yoke material within our body is needed to swim out to sea for three to six days and nights without stopping or eating. We must get out as far as possible to get past the shore fish and into the strong current 5 miles out. I do not want what little energy I have lost due to Eco-Terrorism for a donation.” Please let me go free as nature intended.
Also, any bright lights shining on the beach will distort the hatchlings’ sense of direction and cause them to move in the wrong direction away from the sea. Remember, low wattage, orange, amber, and light red lights can be purchased at the Home Depot. Installing colored lights will also make your yard look more attractive than white lights. We would like to thank the few beach residents that have changed their lights.
Frank Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Facebook page: San Pancho Marine Turtle Project
Tel. 311 258 4100