Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
The total number of hatchlings that found their way to the seas last year came to a little less than 64,000. Total nests recorded topped 1,145, and of that number 119 nests were taken by poachers, while 8 nests remain within the beach nursery and the last should hatch around the end of March.
There are several important reasons for releasing hatchlings at sunset between mid-December and mid-March. Throughout the summer the normal incubation period is 45 days, although during the winter this period is stretched out to as much as 75 days. The extra 7 to 28 days weakens young reptiles to the point where they can not move if released in the cold after sundown. Releasing at sundown also gives the public a change to view hatchlings work their way to the sea. The area of release is generally within 100 yards of the life guard station in front of town.
Managing this beach nursery throughout summer was an exhausting experience that despite its problems proved to be educational. We learned that the first 15 days of incubation are extremely important to its survival. If the nests receive at least two weeks of hot sunny weather without flooding by waves or heavy rain they will do well despite any bad conditions that occur later.
As compared to last year’s enlistment problem, this year’s volunteer enlistment program is on target. To date we have enlisted 27 volunteers with three hopefully coming aboard by April, barring any last second cancellations, that is. Never the less we are still looking for a couple to join us between mid-August through November. 65% of this year’s volunteers have been with the program for more than one year.
In contrast to last year’s yard sale where we sold 850 dollars, this year was a near flop with sales less than 280 dollars. Hey we tried! I would like to thank those who donated materials and those who purchased them. All unsold item were donated to EntreAmigos.
What a wonderful feeling, as a result of several generous donations from the Dar Peters and Cole Foundations, and donations from scores of others through the sale of the directory and T-shirts, we have reached the goal necessary to finance our program throughout this coming summer, thank you.
Weather-wise, no tsunami, highest February daytime temperature was 83° although for the most part daytime temps were in the mid to upper 70’s. Lowest nighttime temp was 56° although most nights have been in the mid to low 60’s. Rainfall for February topped 2.6 inches; it was very unusual although February is generally the month most likely to receive rain during the winter. I can only remember one other year that we received rain in almost every month of the year, I believe it was either 1995 or 96.
In past newsletters I misspoke when I stated “Global Warming”; I should have said “Global Climate Change”. The reason for the switch is based on several articles I read on the internet, “Record cold temperatures this winter is proof that global warming is a myth!!” (So what happens when this same person experiences recorded heat during the coming summer?) Neither record cold nor heat in any one year proves or disproves the existence of global warming, although the steady rise of ocean temperatures, along with an increase of dangerous hurricanes, the retreating of glaciers and polar ice caps, including a perceived rise in wave height, all have convinced me that something is afoot.
Town and country-wise, the Tercer Mundo street reconstruction project that had been idle for weeks appears to be moving again in the last days of February. Mothers Natures dust abatement program, rain, has kept the lagoon filled to the brim, which as you would expect has attracted a wide variety of birds. Except for some over grazed areas the jungle is flourishing as if it was summer again.
The next newsletter will be at the end of April.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
Jane, Bronny and Bec, from Australia. A return for
Bronny who spent several months with us in 2006.