Newsletter No. 246, August 2022 ~ Grupo Ecológico
Hola Volunteers and Supporters ~
Turtle-wise, at the end of August, without the dune buggy and only three volunteers, we were able to get the job done. Hopefully by September things will get better, as I’ll explain below. By the end of August, we recorded over 476 nests, with over 327 in the box nursery, 101 nests were relocated while poaching came to 14 nests. The first batch of nests relocated on the beach have finished hatching. The box nests will begin hatching around the first week of September. Then we will publicly release hatchlings once again.
PS. On September 12th, the internet was repaired. Also, we have recorded over 625 nests.
A little Grayfox was spotted digging on a nest, but we stopped him before he reached the hatchlings. In the early days the Fox would dig under the beach nursery fence and help themselves to hatchlings.
We can begin to release hatchlings again, but not as we had done in the past. Releasing in front of town is not possible because of lights and overcrowding. Although there are good locations with no lights to the north of the alleyway, the thing to remember is we must release just at sundown and no earlier, and in a different location each night. To find the release point will take a little effort on your part. Look for the yellow dune buggy on the shore parked at the release point 10 to 20 minutes before releasing. Also remember, no flashlights, and don’t walk in front of them, making holes.
We are very grateful for the help of our donors, Melissa McCann, Patricia Schmidt, Jennifer Nelsen, Ricke Burke and Susan Stephens, Sean Roberts, and Bonny McCleery Scanlan. Without your donations, our work would be nearly impossible. Go to our PayPal account. The aftermath of the pandemic, with today’s inflation has hurt many, but the repair of the dune buggy has drained us financially, help us if you can. We are nearly out of funds again.
July volunteers: Juan Flores and family, Karen Sorum and Hallie Loveridge, Jessica and Mark Hiller, Cristian Garcia, Esteban Millard, Jennifer Tsai, Veronica Bishop, Angie Dean, Roman Schlichting, Ryven Schlichting, Louie and Louise Christensen, Montserrat Iniesta, Quetzalli Balderas, Stacey Hunter, and Amy and Georgia Emerson.
While covering the beach at night, I’ve occasionally noticed large groups of adults and kids bagging up hundreds of Ghost Crabs. Sadly, there should be thousands of crabs on the beach, but there are very few left these nights. It makes me wonder about the logic of one individual that posts Facebook images of a crab run over, while thousands are being boiled alive and eaten????
I’ve also noticed over the past several years that when tropical weather systems work their way up the coast, they tend to keep moisture that was intended to flow inland out at sea. If this anomaly continues for several years, it could cause a possible threat to the towns water supply. This year, over two dozen tropical systems have traveled the same route from Central America and below San Pancho; see the image below.
The buggy had a bit of bad luck. Somewhere on the beach or maybe in town, the buggy’s crankcase struck something hard like a rock or cement and cracked the crankcase. The oil quickly drained out and withing minutes the engine froze up. The motor was replaced, along with the entire clutch and front brakes were also repaired. It cost us dearly; we need your help with donations.
The buggy is not the only thing around here having bad luck. Our internet fiber optic cable was hit by a coconut and snapped the cable, causing the telephone and internet to crash for over a week.
Weather-wise: Temperatures during the day were in the high 80’s° to low 90°s, while nighttime temps were in the high 70s°, cloudy warm days but unusually cold nights. 11.26 inches of rain in August, and for the year, rainfall came to 18.68 inches. By the end of last August, the rainfall total was 45.50 inches. Despite the lack of rain, the jungle is doing well. With the addition of several new residences and two or three years of low rainfall, water could become a serious problem.
Town and country-wise: Regular gasoline is around 4.61 dollars per gallon. The exchange rate is around 20 pesos per dollar. Except for two very brief flashfloods the river remains bone dry today. It is highly unusual that the river is dry up to September 5th. The lagoon was forced opened to the sea on the night of August 16th, but quickly closed, oddly no Water Hyacinth were washed up on our shore for once.
Frank Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Facebook page: San Pancho Marine Turtle Project
Tel. 311 258 4100