As mentioned in the last newsletter, this winter we plan to leave at least half the nests on the beach to hatch naturally. Since January 1st, four late season nests have been found. Unfortunately, all but one was dug up and brought to our doorstep. Please do not dig up nests. If you move them you most likely will kill them. Just disguise the nest sites so poachers can’t find them and they will be ok.
By February 26th, all our nests had hatched and were released. There will be no hatchlings released until around August 1st. It is not totally clear why we are recording so few late season nests, although, this season is a repeat of the 1997 El Niño wherein we found very few nests as well.
Total nests recorded this season came to 966. Total hatchlings released came to 69,750. Over the past 25 years we’ve released over 1,030,635 hatchlings and saved over 14,693 nests.
Volunteer-wise, if possible we need to find at least 6 to 10 more volunteers. The chart below shows vacant rooms available within each of the three apartments. If you can help or know of someone that would be interested in join us, please contact us.
Not that much to report on the turtle-front. We have more than enough help but very little work. However, we are planning to completely remove the beach nursery this March for two reasons. One; this summer we are planning to leave at least half the nests on the beach to hatch naturally and two; the beach nursery is in very bad shape. Only one other concern; we have not been able to locate and purchase several good quality asphalt rakes to disguise the nests this coming season.
For once the dune buggy is in excellent shape, painted etc. By installing four new powerful LED lights, we have reduced the light wattage from 440 to 74 watts. Since then, we’ve had no problems with the light switches or the battery, while on the other hand, the lights have given us twice the illumination and with a spread of 140°.
Due to the loss of several key donors over the past two years and the complexity of locating at least thirty other absentee homeowners, our proceeds from the sale of the Homeowners Directory is down by 26%. Sob!!! Nevertheless, I will continue to try and locate those homeowners. Oh, and don’t forget. You can always buy a directory at my house if you want to help.
Weather-wise: Daytime temperatures in the mid to high 80°s while night time temps have been more-or-less in the mid 60°s. There have been no outstanding weather events, although, temperatures,, while very comfortable, are rising a little faster than normal. No February rainfall, for the year, 0.01 inches. The lagoon is closed off to the sea while the arroyo still has a good flow of clear water.
Town and countrywide: Good news, home sales are up over last year while tourism is at a ten-year peak, although new home construction here is at near zero.
No Zika virus reported in San Pancho. Except to the unborn, it has been reported that the Zika virus is no more dangerous than Dengue or Chikungunya. So why are we waiting? There is a lot we can do as a community to reduce the population of mosquitoes to near zero. If in 1913-14, the US Army with the help of the people could control yellow fever and malaria over thousands of square miles of Panama’s jungle, we can do the same in our neighborhood.
Some facts: The aedes aegypti is a very aggressive, daytime mosquito, an urban dweller, which does not venture more than 100 yards from its birth place. If it doesn’t travel beyond 100 yards, that means it must find a source of water in your neighborhood to reproduce. This is why all standing water must be drained, small puddles filled in and a small amount of (vegetable oil?) placed in discarded tires, stagnant swimming pools, birdbaths, ponds, holding tanks, etc. Stop attracting bugs to your house, use yellow insect blubs around the outside. (See image)