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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~

The last of five Leatherback nest was found on January seventh on Playa Questo, but for now the older nests are in danger of being washed out by beach erosion.  The second nest is just a few feet from tumbling into the ocean, and unfortunately moving it is risky, although this is the only thing we can do if push comes the shove.  There is one question, since the surface of this nesting area is only two feet above rock she may have returned to the sea without laying her eggs.

Throughout January thirty-five nests hatched at an excellent 83%.  The beach nursery now contains less than twenty-five nests that should hatch sometime between early February and mid- March.  To date a total of 104,825 hatchlings were released, and a total of 1,419 nests were recorded or collected.

Since the reconstruction of the box nursery eight months ago, not a single termite has been spotted within.  The front of the box nursery will undergo some remodeling , as we are planning to pour a concrete pad under the table area, sorry cats.  Both nurseries were rebuilt this year and their structures remain in excellent shape.  The buggy, aside from being in top running condition, for now, will also undergo some repairs this winter, 1) the clutch will need to be replaced, 2) several sections of the frame are badly rusted and will need to be replaced, and 3) it will need to have  its rust removed and repainted.

Town wise.   Over the years we’ve released thousands of hatchlings to the enjoyment of tourist and locals, and occasionally they will tell us that the release was the highlight of their trip to México, and San Pancho.  Our sundown releases involve three important missions:  1) the safety of the hatchlings comes first, during the winter hatchlings must be released while the sand is still warm, although no earlier than with 20 minutes before sunset to keep fish from finding them.  2) We’ve organized the release to facilitate the needs of both tourist and locals.  The public release is generally between mid-November to mid-March in the area below the malecon, if hatchlings are available.  3) Fund raising, during the release is an important source of income for our program.

Weather wise, a constant stream of clouds driven by the Sub-Tropical Jet-Stream has kept January temps a little cooler than December,  January daytime temps have ranged from the high 70°s to the high 80°s, nighttime temps from the mid to low 60°s.  Surprise-surprise, it rained throughout most of New Years Day, receiving nearly an inch of gentle rain, the welcome rain was also accompanied by an eighteen hour power failure and no water—much to the chagrin of the local businesses. 

January Volunteers: Joslin, Summer and Starlie Bertrand, Gale Greer and Lorren Garlichs, all from the US, Kim Arthur from Australia, and Lisa Fisher, Patricia and Peter Riley from Canada.

Former volunteers.  This coming season we need you help more than ever.  Former volunteers are the skilled fabric that holds the team together, and generally make up 65% of our work force.  If you are planning to join us this coming season, let us know soon.

New Volunteers:  We have received a good lineup of prospective volunteers for our upcoming 2013 season: Alejandra Herrera, Anayd Alonso Alcalà, Anahi Ojeda Sanchez, Antonio Earwaker, Catherine Gockley, Emily Graylands, Harrison Lane, Justine Kay Marshall, Kelly Sheldrick, Konstantin von Gunten, Maria Susano Barnes, Miguel Angel Alvarado, Patricia Dombrowski, Rory Champion, Simon baker, Stephanie Walker.  The above named applicant’s information will be processed and we will be contacting them in February/March.  If the above applicants have any question or for some reason can no longer join us, please contact us.

The Homeowners Directory has been from the beginning, as it is to this day, a gift in exchange for a donation, and nothing more, this is why there is no set price per copy.  Although many people have told us “we have last year’s directory and don’t need another”.  OK that’s fine if you don’t need a new copy, although I’ve come to their doorstep not to sell you a directory, I am here looking for help to fund the coming summer turtle program.

Looking Back:
From our January, 2003 newsletter:

A prescription for disaster:  The practice of removing the jungles and/or the canopy, its under story, and decomposing plant matter below, allows heavy summer rains to strike the exposed surface as never before.   Heavy rains carry away fragile topsoil, and will eventually expose the rock below.  After the process of erosion has begun, the drying effects of the sun removes valuable moisture from below the surface.  This in turn keeps plant matter from decomposing, lowering the fertility of the thinning soil.  Unfortunately as the sun dries the surface its becomes increasingly difficult for the jungle to draw nourishment and moisture.  Dry, eroded areas begin to spread, allowing drought-resistant species of thorn tree, weeds, vines, and other undesirable plants to replace the lush green jungle.

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


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