~ Newsletter No. 238, December 2021 ~
Hola Volunteers and Supporters.
Our nesting records for the entire 2021 season are:
- Total nests relocated this season for their safety, 1,157
- Total nests poached, 57 or 4.3%
- Total nests washed out, 10
- Grand total of all nests recorded this season, 1,224
Total estimated hatchlings that made it to the sea this season, 92.028
Total hatchlings released by Grupo Ecológico in the past 30 years, 1,435,970.
Total hatchlings run over and killed by Grupo Ecológico, 0 despite what critics may say.
Of the 891,420 hatchlings that we released over the past eleven years, next year 124 young adult female turtles out at sea will return to our beach to nest for the first time in 12 years.
The 2021 marine turtle nesting season was difficult and challenging, because it was the second largest nesting season on record. Unfortunately, it all transpired during the Covid pandemic, with our dune buggy unable to reverse and few volunteers here to help. Nevertheless, we were able to successfully save 94.3% of all nests with the outstanding help of our crew of volunteers.
It was also our group’s thirtieth anniversary on November 15th, 2021. To mark the occasion, we are planning to make substantial changes in our 2022 program. Jessica Schmidt, who has been one of our volunteers for over ten years and has earned a graduate degree in Marine Biology, will become our new Director. Jessica will be overseeing all our activities, including marine turtle preservation work and our nursery operation. I will assist by raising donations, caring for our vehicles, and helping to enlist volunteers.
Among other changes we also plan to purchase a new Can-Am 450 Outlander all-terrain vehicle to join the dune buggy in patrolling the beach. And if possible, we expect to reopen the box nursery. To open this nursery, it is vitally important that we enlist about 28 new and former volunteers.
Many readers have sent us applications for the 2021 season, but now we are enlisting volunteers for 2022. If you are interested, read the requirements below and please visit this Volunteer link. Volunteer criteria include:
- Must be 16 years or older.
- No experience needed except the willingness to work at night in occasional heavy rain.
- Volunteers will work one of the three hour-shifts per night, plus some light work during the afternoon.
- If possible, we ask that applicants join us for at least two months or more.
- We ask that all volunteers receive at least one Covid-19 shot.
- Applicants must send us a new application that includes the From - To dates.
- All volunteers will live at the nursery in one of four very nice apartments. Each apartment has two-bedroom, full bathrooms, and kitchens, washing machine, internet service, towels, sheets, and blankets.
- We ask that all applicants help us with the rent of 300 dollars a month.
- The nursery is a short walking distance from the beach, restaurants, and stores.
- No need to bring surfboards and boogie boards, we have several available.
- For more information, please read our online Handbook.
After nearly six months of flawless service and only having to be towed off the beach once this season, the dune buggy has recently had its transmission and engine replaced. Keep in mind that we are extremely careful to not runover any hatchlings or nests.
Our November through December volunteers are Karen Sorum, Hallie Loveridge, Taylor Kimbell, Ricky Burke, Susie Stephens, and Esteban Millard. Joining us at the end of December, Carol Hartoonian and entire family, Steve Raschke, Gale Greer, and Lorren Garlichs.
Weather-wise, daytime temperatures have been in the low to mid 80°, while nighttime temperatures were in the high 60° to low 70°. Total rainfall for the entire year came to 71.01 inches, with no rain in December. Just all-around good weather this winter.
We are exceptionally indebted to the November donors: Gale Greer, Jennifer Nelsen, Karen Hope, Oliver Seary, Stanton Jones, Patricia Schmidt, Richard Griffiths, Ken Graham, Brian Culligan, Jennifer Nelsen, Sarah Hunnewell, Johanne Pouliot, Steven Ogden, Megan Ewald, Timothy Capley and Sallie Mitchell. To donate, go to our Contribute page. Because of the pandemic, we have no other way of obtaining donations aside from PayPal, so please help if you can.
At our request, two agents of the Mexican government agencies SEMERNAT and PROFEPA visited our compound to inspect our operations and instruct us on current techniques of how to deal with lights and vehicles on the beach, poaching, and unlicensed individuals interfering in a negative way with the marine turtles and volunteers (see image below). We are proud that after 30 years in operation, Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde continues to be officially certified and authorized by the Mexican Government to continue our marine turtle conservation mission on the San Pancho and neighboring beaches.
Frank Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Facebook page: San Pancho Marine Turtle Project
Tel. +52 311 258 4100