Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
By the end of October we had recorded a record 1,305 nests, an amazing 330 nests over all other years. 854 of these nests were placed within the box nursery, 307 in the beach nursery, 103 other nests had been left in place or moved on the beach, and 41 or 3% had been taken by poachers. By the end of the month over 61,700 hatchlings have been released to the sea, with an estimated additional 33,326 hatchlings to be released by the end of the season.
The first group of fifty nests placed within the beach nursery produced a dismal 7.5%, while cleaning the last of these nest we decided to run an experiment to see if the sand was contaminated. We filled several nest boxes with the suspected sand and placed them in the box nursery to incubated. Forty-five day later the results were conclusive, the experimental boxes produced over 90%, which eliminates sand contaminated, and leaves either sand moisture and/or heat as the killer.
To check sand moisture, we employed the tube method which was designed to insured a 3 inches barrier of semi-dry around the eggs through the first twelve days of incubation. this experiment was conducted within the exact same area as the failed nests. Again the results were astounding, the survival rate jumped from 7.5% up to 74%, which points to sand moisture as the cause of the dismal 7.5%. The tube method also produced one other unexpected benefit, each year thousands of hatchlings are killed on the beach by larvae, but for some unknown reason there has been virtually no larvae found within this new experimental area.
Between mid-November through mid-March we will be releasing hatchlings in the area between the lagoon and the Alleyway in front of town. If you would like to watch the release, you should be in the area one half hour before sunset, and look for the yellow dune buggy.
Town wise, tourist and homeowners are returning in numbers not seen in years, welcome back snow birds. Via a court order, the thatched structures behind the beach between Las Palmas Restaurant and the alleyway were leveled and pushed into piles by bulldozers. For many years, this area had been sort of a hobo’s camp of tourists and the home of several poachers. The water overflowing from the lagoon generally flows directly into the sea, but this time it has taken turn northward across the beach, cutting a steep 15 foot bank in the direction of the several malecon restaurants. The peso is about 12.6 per dollar and regular gasoline is about $2.83 per gallon.
Weather wise, October weather had tempered by months end, with days in the high to mid 80°s, while nighttime temps were in the mid to low 70°s. During most of the month the midday humidity was uncomfortably high, although the nighttime humidity was much lower, with light winds to help. No hurricane waves this month, and no rain since the October 8th, total rain for the year came to 38.75 inches, this month we received 3.4 inches.
Volunteer wise, for the entire month we enjoyed the company of: Joslin, Starlie and Summer Bertrand, Tom Hofmann, Sabrina Frank, Gale Greer, Kim Arthur and John Butler. Volunteers that have returned home this month are: Kym Gardnir, Jim and Linda Sorter, Chuck Dewitt, Alicia Pereira and Lorren Garlichs. (See photo below). Our endeavor to protect the marine turtle was never compromised, despite the additional 330 nests, the heat, having to completely rebuild both nurseries, and deal with a buggy fire and the replacing of its motor.
November is the time we re-edit information within the upcoming Homeowners Directory. We need your help to make this year’s issue as complete and interesting as possible. We will be sending an e-mail to each sponsor listed within the directory asking you for new or changed information. The sale of the directory accounts for 97% of our financial income.
San Pancho homeowners, please ask your renters to turn off the back porch lights facing the beach. Hatchlings mistake these lights for their home, don’t disappoint them.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
October volunteers, top down: Tom Hofmann,
Joslin and Summer Bertrand, Sabrina Frank
John Butler, and Gale Greer