Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~
The last nest in the box nursery was cleaned on January 15th, rounding up to a total of 70,750 hatchlings released with a 88.3% successful hatch rate. The winter beach nursery which begun in mid-November, has to date held 40 nests of which half have hatched at an outstanding 86% success rate. By the end of the season, the box nursery and both summer/winter beach nurseries will have produced an estimated 89,000 hatchlings.
No rest! When we first began our work over twenty years ago, it was extremely rare to find any nest after mid-November. Today the number of late season nests has increased from 4 to about 70, which translates into more work and a never-ending nesting season.
Weather-wise, unseasonable rains and cold weather dominated the last week of December and set the stage for an early, cold January. By mid-month warmer temps prevailed ranging from the high 70°s to mid 80°s and nights from the low 60°s to low 70°s. No special weather events, some light rainfall in early January, and high waves at the end of the month, total rainfall .62 of an inch.
Volunteer-wise. Joslin and Summer Bertrand, US - Lisa Fisher, Canada - Zsofia Cserhati, Hungary - Norma Patricia Rodriquez and Manuel Murrieta from San Pancho. In the last two weeks of January we enlisted the last of eighteen volunteers (see chart below). Since the volunteer apartments are now filled we will continue to look for other volunteers or former volunteers who can arrange their own accommodations.
Town and country-wise: The remodeling of Costa Azul, the gas station, sewer plant (see photo below) and reconstruction of the dangerous intersection in front of town are still all mañanatized (delayed indefinitely). The new polo field is beginning to take form, looking like the inception of a very fancy, first-class facility. If all goes according to plan, it should be complete by the end of 2014.
Otherwise, there is little construction or remodeling in or around town aside from a flood of new restaurants, shops, and a whole host of small businesses. It seems that every street in town is dotted with them despite the fact that by June there will be few tourists in town to enjoy them, but that’s how it goes in a flourishing tourist town in the tropics. Regular gasoline is US$3.51 a gallon. By the end of January the peso rose to 13.1 (checks) and 12.8 per dollar (cash) .
We have a limited number of half-size Homeowners Directories available. If you are interested in a copy, please call 258-4100 or drop by the house. By the end of January, we had reached 88% of our goal of raising 100,000 pesos via the sale of the directory. Never the less we need your help, if you have not received a copy, you can pick one up at my house or call 258-4100 and I will deliver.
The first and second paragraphs of our first newsletter of September 1999.
On request I'm e-mailing a monthly newsletter to all our volunteers. It will be an update on our activities, the marine turtle program etc. As of today we have collected over 108 nests, of course the poachers got their share of 16, and 7 nests had been left in the beach. We hope to collect around 230 nests this year, passing 1996 record of 206. The box nursery has been doubled in size, and now has eight column and holds 144 boxes.
On a sad note, poachers have broken into the box nursery three times causing some damage, ripping off the plastic roof, and carrying off about 70 eggs from a nest that were over two weeks old, tasty I'm sure. They were looking for fresh eggs in the dark, so you can imagine the damage. The first sign of a problem began on August 3rd when a poacher (Jesse) tried to steal a nest out from under a volunteers who was alone at the time and standing on the nest to protect it. When I arrived with the buggy he ran off and then started to through rocks at us as we were collecting the eggs. Further down the beach we fount two other poached nests, but that was not enough for them. Before we could return to the beach box nursery they had climbed over the gate, ransacked the nursery, taking about 70 eggs, broking about 30 more, and scattered 50 more on the floor.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
San Pacho's new sewer plant (not online)