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Previousleft arrow ................................ ......      Newsletter No. 161 June, 2015 Nextright arrow


Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~

June was a slow month, a few nests, but nevertheless an important training time for new volunteers.  By the end of June we had collected seventeen nests.  Otherwise, we are ready to take on whatever nature and the turtles deal us this summer.

June volunteers: Joslin, Summer, Starlie, Manuel, Simon and Lisa.  Mando arrived in late May. Fabio on May 1st and Hattie arrived on the second week of June, while Michelle and Nancy arrived on June 21st.  Sally and her daughter Ruby will arrive in mid-July.  If interested in joining us this summer (couples or individuals.) we have one available opening from mid-July to mid-August and another October to the end of November.  For a look at our lineup, go to Schedule

After nearly eight years of outstanding volunteer work, Joslin, Starlie and Summer Bertrand, are planning to move back to the United States in mid-July.  The Bertrand family first arrived in San Pancho on September 15th, 2008, and for the most part, remained with the program throughout these years.  Aside from her work with the marine turtles, Joslin kept her doors open to hundreds of sick, wounded and orphaned animals.  The family’s absence will create a hole filled with both sadness and happy memories that can never be replaced.  My task of continuing her tireless work will not be easy.  

Lights on the beach:  Aside from hurricane waves and poachers, there is only one other mishap that harms the marine turtle’s ability to lay her eggs and threatens the lives of her hatchlings.  The problem is the contrast between very bright, artificial exterior lights and total darkness.

As hatchlings dig their way out onto the surface of the beach they would normally encounter total darkness in all directions but one.  Now you would think it would be nearly impossible for them to find the sea since they can’t hear on land and have arrived at the surface in total darkness.  Not so. Nature has provided the marine turtle with a clever way to find the sea even in the worst weather.  As each wave breaks, it creates a faint flash of white-blue-green light called bio-chemical luminance.  To the hatchlings and the adults, this flash of light is like a lightning storm that will safely lead them in the direction of the sea.  

Artificial light is like poison to them. It is a thousand times stronger than the bio-chemical luminance of the sea and, in most cases; it will lead them in the wrong direction.  The next morning hundreds of hatchlings might be found under a light post, all having died from heat exposure.  On the other hand, marine turtles cannot see red or reddish-amber light (a beautiful color for any tropical backyard garden). Once the color of the light has been changed, it needs to be fitted with a shade that will keep its light from shining on the beach.  Please help us. Tell your guests and renters that the bogeyman will not attack them if they turn off their backyard lights.

Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures, hot, hot, hot, mostly in the very high 80°s and occasionally into the mid 90°s Nighttime temps from the mid 60°s to very low 70°s.  No unusual weather events; little rain, few thunder clouds or storms.  June rainfall was 4.85 inches, 10.31 inches for the year.  Three tropical storms, Andres (cat. 3), Blanca (cat. 4), and Carlos (cat. 1). None of these tropical hurricanes affected our weather or made landfall in our area.

Town and country wise:  Highway 200 is now four lanes at the town intersection for safer turning into town.  Finally they have resumed work on the town’s gas station; they have removed all the gas pumps and are digging up the storage tanks.  The roof over La Patron’s clubhouse collapsed under the weight of rain water.  The peso to the dollar remained around 15 to 1. Regular gasoline is 13.57 pesos per liter and should stabilize at that price throughout the year.  Regular gasoline is about $3.41 per gallon.

If you would like to see the front of our nursery go to Casa Tortuga

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

 used        used

Back row: Mando, Hattie, Joslin, Manuel, Nancy       Our gas station being dismantled
and Fabio, on the table is: Lisa Michelle and Che.                                    


La Patron’s clubhouse roof collapsed under the weight of rain water.          

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