Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
The final count on nests, eggs and hatchlings:
482 nests placed within the box nursery produced 41,562 hatchling at 89.21% survival rate.
243 nests placed within the beach nursery produced 11,275 hatchlings at 47.7% survival rate.
21 nests left on the beach produced 1,472 hatchlings at 72.1% survival rate. (early summer nests)
4 nests were washed out.
29 were taken by poachers at 3.7%
Total nests 779, total eggs saved 73,200, total hatchlings released 54,309
By the end of February we were still tending eleven late nests within the beach nursery.
Over the past several years we’ve received a sharp increase in late season nests (December through May), and these nests created a dilemma to which we have no solution. As the numbers of nests increased from 200 over the past two decades to over a thousand today, so has the number of late nests, from two or three to over thirty this year alone. Unfortunately these late nests are the victim of our success, and adverse weather over the past three years has not helped their survival. This season unusually cold night temperatures have extended the incubation period from 45 to 75 days. As these nests begin to hatch they are uncovered up to fives times over ten days and as necessary each hatchling is helped out of its shell.
Our experiment of tamping the nest and placing them seven inches deeper than normal has reduced fly larvae by 99.5%, and should help us this coming summer. Although in the winter its more like damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The deeper nests stopped the larvae, but in the winter it extends incubation time. On the other hand the six nests that were placed at a normal depth all contain 75% larvae.
We are still in need of two to three volunteers for the entire month of June, and in desperate need of three to four through mid-September to the end of November. If we ever needed the help of former volunteers, it is now, especially couples and/or couples that can rent their own private home, but anyone would help.
By mid-March we hope to sell 126 copies of the 2011 Homeowners Directory. We would like to thank everyone that received a copy for the support of our work to preserve the marine turtle. In 2007 we sold 182 copies, although since then the numbers have dropped by twelve copies a year. Aside from the drop, the cost of producing one copy has increased from $3.50 in 2000 to $8.62 or 1,087 dollars for this year’s edition. This figure includes repair of the printer, four new cartridges and new image drum, toner, paper, binder and covers, but does not include labor.
Weather-wise, no end to the cold nights and chilly days in sight, lowest night temperature this year was 50°, lowest February temp was 51°. Days in the low to the high 70°s, some clouds, little wind, and what’s the hells going on with the weather down here. Throughout 2009 we experienced gigantic waves, then in 2010 record flooding, now in 2011 we’re experiencing uncomfortably cold nights and now cold fog in the mornings. At least we are not alone, as the entire world is more or less experienced the same phenomenon’s, but the question is what’s next?
Town-wise, each street planter has received two beautiful palms and a host of other small plant and flowers (See image below) A sad note, somebody is stealing the small plants. The bridge is almost finished, but may not be open to traffic until mid to late March, or at least until the railing/walls are contracted along the sidewalks and the concrete dries. Although the bridge may have to be opened to one lane to allow construction workers to pour concrete on the last half of the inbound lane. (See image below). The lagoon was sealed off from the sea on the 14th, and should remain sealed until the next good rain this summer. We were also amazed how fast the lagoon filled and the speed in which the Water hyacinth had begun to spread across the surface. Hopefully the reintroduction of the hyacinth will chock out the invasive Water lettuce. Otherwise the town businesses are enjoying a fair amount of tourist trade.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Highway side new bridge embankment.
Power and telephone poles on the left will be moved eight over to allow
the street to be widen by six feet and sidewalks installed.