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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

On January 16th the last of 482 nests placed within the box nursery hatched, raising the total of hatchlings released from this nursery to 41,562 at a 89.21% survival rate.  Although due to extreme cold nights over the past three months, the thirty-one nests placed in the beach nursery began hatching on January 22nd, about twenty-two days late.  If we receive no additional nests the last hatchling should be released by the end of February, with a grand total of 55,102 hatchlings released.   
Total nests recorded by the end of January came to a little over 777.   Unlike the first ten seasons where a release on Christmas was a rare event and the season lasted less than six months, this season we released over 300 hatchlings on Christmas and the season will have covered ten long months.
If 3 out of every 1,000 female hatchlings released over the past eleven years survive to return, and if our calculations are correct, we should expect the return of about 1,987 nesting females over the next 16 years.  This return would have today been reduced to near zero without human intervention in 1992, when up to twenty turtles a year were being butchered, all but 5% of the nests were taken for food, and dogs dug up the remaining 5%. 
Since the founding of the Group in 1992 it has been impossible to cash/deposit any check of any amount, especially if the check was made out in the name of the Group.  About five years ago we joined Intercam and for the first time in fifteen years we were able to cash any and all checks.  On January first I received bad news when I learned that Intercam will no longer except checks under $250 USD, which is the amount that 99% of our donation/checks fall under.  Any suggestions?   
Former volunteers, we need to receive from you your plans for the coming seasonThis is important as we need to fill in the empty spaces with new volunteers as quickly as possible and schedule your housing.  Last season we were very fortunate to have received the help of 35 return volunteer at 63% of the total.  This season we need 75% return volunteers, especially in August, September and October.
If, within the very first week we purchased the dune buggy we had had the foresight to change the following components, 1) install heavy duty stainless steel fenders, 2) change the standard distributer to an electronic distributer, 3) change the generator to an alternator, 4) hold the transaxle down with a heavy duty racing mount, and 5) use a rust removing acid to fix the paint to metal, we would have saved hundreds of hours of extra repairs and thousands of dollars.  Although because of these alterations the buggy is running perfectly today.
Weather-wise, January nights remain cold, colder than normal. Occasionally temps would dip down into the low 50°s, while daytime temps have been in the 70°s   No rain since the end of November, *very blue skies and little wind.  With the help of winter storms the north waves are increasing a bit in size.  Beach sand is still moving southward for the winter.  The lagoon at times was stretched out for a ¼ mile, from the malecon to the center of the beach south of the normal lagoon, and the rocks between the lagoon and boats are disappearing under the sand.  The river with it’s new rocked-in channel up stream has been held back in a series of pools, which by design or not is an excellent method retaining or slowdown water for future use.  After the summers rains these dams could be easily rebuilt, and for being this late in the season the river occasionally is still chewing its way through the lagoon to the sea.
*Months late the subtropical jet stream finally kicked in on 25th of January.  As in the past this stream will often display a like blanket of high, mostly thin clouds over mid México perhaps through May.  This stream will result in cooler days, warmer nights, beautiful sunsets and occasional sprinkle.  Go to the link below and check “HWD-high” http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/west/epac/loop-wv.html the blue lines will show you the speed and direction of the jet-stream
Town-wise:  work on the bridge is on schedule and may be finished in early February, and appears that two large vehicles can pass without any problems, with sidewalks on both sides.  The planters are being filled with potting soil and I expect planting to begin soon.  As expected tourism dropped off sharply just after January 18th, although business-wise the town seems to be enjoying some daytime tourism.  The meeting with Oxxo management went extremely well, with town realties offering seven better sites in which to locate their store.  I am no businessmen, but it seems too me they could do better in an area closer to traffic, not down a dead-end street, and in an area that had ample parking, not between four restaurants.       
Laser-jet printing of the “2011 Homeowners Directory” came to a halt in early January when all except the black toner cartridge failed.  With the help of friend the three colors cartridge were replaced and printing began on the 31st, but came to a halt after printing thirty pages, when all the black cartridges failed one after the other.  The cartridge’s can not be purchased in México, and come from the US.  If anyone is come down to San Pancho and would not mind carrying a small box, let me know. 
We still have apartment space available, all utilities are paid, including high speed wireless internet, water, propane, electric and several miles of palm laden beaches.  Past volunteers; this is a good opportunity to re-visit San Pancho and the friends you left behind.  If interested, contact us by e-mail or contact Caren or Allison at San Pancho Rentals info@sanpanchorentals.com

Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Tel. 311-258-4100

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