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Newsletter No. 62 - September, 2005
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Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~

By the end of August the volunteers had collected over 150 nests. Six other nests, or 4%, were left on the beach, while poachers have taken 8 or 6%. On the morning of September 2nd, Ceimon, the caretaker of Las Bancas, brought us a bag of eggs that he had found on Playa El Chololo about 30 minutes earlier. The bag contained what appeared to be over 200 unusually small eggs. In fact, we counted 171 in all, the largest nest found to date. The previous record was found by Judith Anderson in 1993, 159 eggs.

Speaking of Playa El Chololo, this is the third season in a row that the northern beaches (El Chololo, Las Bancas and Las Juntas one and two) have produced fewer than four nests. As far as we know, there is no good explanation for this trend. Generally, by mid August, if less than four nests are collected on these beaches we'll stop patrolling them. As illustrated above, if nests are found on these beaches, Ceimon will collect them and bring them to the nursery early that morning.

In 1998, after the arrival of telephones in San Pancho, we decided to send our first Internet e-mail newsletter. The Idea at the time was to keep our past volunteers up to date on our activities. Today our mailing list has grown to include not only 44 past volunteers, but also our supporters numbering 67, homeowners of San Pancho 149, and others who have asked to be on our list, 79. If you have any comment on its content or would like to read about other subjects related to the marine turtle, environmental questions, or San Pancho in general, please let us know.

Volunteer-wise, Petersenn Keillor-Canada, Christopher Sours-México City, Les and Leora Rohssler-California, have finished their tour and have returned home. Jim and Linder Sorter-California, have been with us since mid-July; Nick Sanders-UK, joined us on August 23rd, Maria Lehtikunnas-Finland, and Anna Moscoso-USA, joined us on August 31st; Trond Rekvin will join us on September 13th. Riikka Liisa Immonen, after spending over two years with us, has returned to Finland, and will be joined by Andres Rodriguez of San Pancho this coming October. Andres and Riikka are expecting their first child in January. Andres has been with our program many years. As usual, our entire volunteer staff have performed their duties magnificently.

Total rainfall recorded between June first and the end of August was 21.17 inches, about 2 inches less than recorded by the end of August last year. On the morning of the 25th, waves from Hurricane Hilary eroded the beach within 30 feet of the lagoon. Homeowners fearing the flooding of their property and homes took advantage of the narrowing distance and opened the lagoon to the sea that night. During the night of the August 30th the first good storm of the year reopened the lagoon to the sea again. As for the Water Lettuce that covered the entire surface of the lagoon; waves through the mouth of the lagoon and several storms washed 99.9% of the it out to the sea.

Frank D. Smith
Director,
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
grupo-eco@project-tortuga.org
México (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, México

Pre-season cleanup

Top layer of the largest nest collected to date, 171 eggs.


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