During the first forty-five days of this season, nest collection remained well below normal. By mid August, we were concerned that long-line and gill-net fishing may had led to the demise of many of our local marine turtles. However, by mid August, nest collection more than tripled overtaking all early years except 2000 and 2001. Within six days, (between September 13th and the 19th,) over sixty-four nests had been collected, filling the nursery to capacity by September 19th. At this point we were faced with the challenge of finding nursery space for new nests, although later, room was found as hatchling were released. If no space was available, nests were relocated into better areas along the beach for their protection. In any case, this nesting season should peak by the end of September, and there will be ample room in October. To date we have collected and placed into the nursery 199 nests, poachers have taken eighteen, and twenty-two have been left on the beach. Thirty-two nests have hatched, releasing over 2,770 hatchlings
Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends -
After little to no problems last year, poaching has become a persistent problem this year. We suspect that the nest are taken by those new to town, and not long time residents of San Pancho. In addition to this dilemma, poachers from Los Lomas and Sayulita are willing to walk a ten mile round trip to take nests from our outer beaches. The Mexican Navy and County Police are periodaticly patrolling, which at best keeps the poacher on their toes, but by no means stops them. From time to time poachers will play games on the new volunteers by making it appear that they have found a nest and taken the eggs. The trick is to simply rub out nonexistent turtle tracks, and making a fake nest site at the top. In most cases a new volunteer will be deceived by the hoax, but to a trained eye, their attempts to deceive are poor designed at best, especially with no egg chamber present.
Paul Tsaros, France, - Riikka Immonen, Finland, - and Bronny O'Halloran, Australia, - Andres Rodriguez, Mexico, (See photo below) are the last of Eight volunteers to join us this season. Paul was recommended by Alan Rees, one of are former volunteer, both have worked in turtle encampments in Europe, and are highly experienced, although Paul is having a bit of a problem breaking in the dune buggy, (its more like the buggy is breaking him in.)
Between September 13th and the 15th we received the help of over one hundred students from the university of Guadalajara in Puerto Vallarta. Few of these students had ever seen a live marine turtle, so naturally when the first one came ashore to nests, all the students suddenly surrounded it, but she continued to lay her eggs without blinking an eye, and the students were respectful and quiet. Over the two nights they found ten nests and gave us a change to get some badly needed rest.
Other events; in the nursery we have found two albino hatchling, and two hatchlings in one egg. On the beach, an Eastern Pacific Green made a false crawl, with two attempts to dig a nest. The Dune Buggy, for the umpteen times it became stuck on the beach, not that much of a problem except there were waves crashing over and through it at the time. With the help of twelve young men we were able get it off the beach and to my house. An hour later it was washed, dried and back on the beach.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Volunteers Andres Rodriguez, Mexico, -
Paul Tsaros, France, Riikka Immonen, Finland, -
and Bronny O'Halloran, Australia.