~ Newsletter No. 237, November, 2021 ~
Hola Volunteers and Supporters,
Turtle wise: By the end of November, the total nests recorded for this season comes to over 1,288, again the second largest in thirty years. We also have recorded over 81 nests in November, thanks to the outstanding work of our volunteers. We recorded an estimated 90,000 to 97,775 hatchlings have made their way to the sea as nature had intended.
November 15th marked Grupo Ecológico’s thirtieth anniversary, and to mark the occasion, we held a potluck dinner to celebrate. (See photograph below) During the dinner, we made plans to purchase a Can-am outlander 350 all-terrain vehicle over the winter months. Keep in mind while we are on the beach, we are extremely careful not to run over nests or hatchlings and drive at a careful speed.
If you are looking for hatchlings, try walking the beach nightly between 10 PM and 7 AM on the northern half, and upper side of our beach. Walking the beach to find these hatchlings may be upsetting to many that had expected a guided tour, sorry.
There are several conditions in which hatchlings can be rescued from danger on the surface of the beach. (Keep in mind, we are not talking about below the surface.) One, if the hatchling is hopelessly trapped in driftwood, two, if the sand becomes dangerously hot, or three, if the hatchling has fallen into a crab hole. There may be other similar conditions to look out for. Once rescued, move the hatchling immediately down to the cool, damp sand. Thanks for any future assistance.
The following article was written by several world-leading marine biologists and was posted in the international “Marine Turtle Newsletter”.
“To increase their chances of survival, it is better to allow the hatchlings to reach the sea immediately after emergence. Any period of captivity should be strongly discouraged. Activities such as this will negatively impact and even fatally effect the normal development of hatchlings and should be stopped.
Therefore, hatchlings should be allowed to crawl across the beach naturally to the sea at the same time or evening as they emerge from their nests.”
Their newsletters also reinforce our belief that if hatchlings are not released correctly, it could cause the deaths of thousands of them.
Propagandists, if you were honestly interested in helping the marine turtles and their hatchlings, you would have not made our task of collecting and relocating nests unnecessarily difficult. Because of your lies and deception, we went without a vehicle for over a month, which allowed the poachers to easily outnumber us on the beach. Not being able to patrol the beach fast enough on foot had allowed the poachers to take 12 additional nests in November alone. In turn, this has caused the needless death of nearly a thousand hatchlings.
Almost all marine turtle nurseries throughout México utilize all-terrain vehicles to outrun the poachers. In our case, the poachers outnumber our volunteers by five to one. Without the buggy, we could have lost over 80% of 1,288 nests, allowing the poachers to destroy nearly 100,000 eggs. To those individuals who staged the death of hatchlings in our buggy tracks, again, you are responsible for killing thousands of hatchlings.
We want to thank our November volunteers: Karen Sorum, Hallie Loveridge, Esteban Millard, Taylor Kimbell, Maria Markham, Julie Palatan, and Adrien Dion, Ricky Burke, Susie Stephens, and Malka Katz. Also, we would like to thank the many members of the community that have stepped forward to help us.
Weather-wise, daytime temperatures have been in the mid 80°, while nighttime temperatures were in the high 60° to low 70°. Total rainfall through November came to 71.04 inches, with no rain in November. The good news, this may be a welcomed warm winter compared to last year.
We are exceptionally indebted to the November donors: Gale Greer, Robert Hepburn, Joseph Sackey, Jacqueline Cain, James Van, Jennifer Nelsen, Karen, and Jeff Wilson, ELT, INC., dba Medafore, Karen Hope, Oliver Seary, Stanton Jones, Patricia Schmidt, Richard Griffiths, and for one hundred dollars in a cash donation. To donate, go to Contribute. Because of the pandemic, we have no other way of obtaining donations aside from PayPal, so please help if you can.
Frank Smith, Director,
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Facebook page: San Pancho Marine Turtle Project
Tel. 311 258 4100