Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
An extraordinary year, over 183 nests have been recorded by August 21st. This is roughly 100 nests above normal count for this date. Out of 15 years of collecting nests, only one year 2000 top this number by 50 nests. While near-record numbers are being recorded on our largest beaches, Playa Guachinango and Questo, the four northern beaches have not produced a single nest this season.
In mid-July I received several phone calls from concerned friends, Sucky a well-known marine turtle poacher had again arrived in town at the home of a fellow poacher. For years we've known of their intent to kill marine turtles. Within an hour we found Sucky at the home of his friend and issued both of them a strong warning to stay off the two beaches at night, or run the risk of being arrested. Of course both denied ever taking a nest or killing a turtle; and cows can fly as well.
There is one unwelcome change that has added to the problem of poaching. The dirt road leading to Playa Questo, (the second largest nesting beach,) has been blocked by two new gates. Besides the gate obstacles, the road itself had been rendered impassable during a July 23rd rainstorm. Then again, even if the road were passable, there are several other new dangerous obstacles. The middle third, or the rocky section of Playa Questo, has dropped or eroded by six feet, exposing several dangerous rocks that the dune buggy could not drive around safely.
We've finally received the rain we've been looking for, a good 17.5 inches by the end of July. In one July 23rd storm we received a whopping 7.5 inches. Nevertheless, even after the heavy rains, the river remains totally dry, and the day after each storm the lagoon was sealed off from the sea. Weather-wise, August has turned dry again with a scant 4 inches of rain. Like all of June, the first two weeks of July was hotter than hell, but with the interdiction of cloudy weather by mid-July and through August, it cooled to the low 90's to mid 80's with cooler than normal nights.
June's volunteers, Carlie Smith, Jason Fortis and Sean Coogan, were joined by Les and Leora Rohssler on August 3rd, and Jim and Linda Sorter on August 14th. (See image below.) Despite being short two volunteers through July and August, the volunteers have elected to work up to nine hours a night to get the job done.
We got lucky. In early May my landlord agreed to build us a two bedroom volunteer house next door to mine, (see image below). When finished on the first of September, this house will accommodate five to six volunteer throughout the nesting season, (June through November). During the winter/fall off-season, (December through May,) the home will be rented to anyone who would enjoy living in a quiet neighborhood on the edge of town. All profits received during the off-season (December through June,) will go towards funding volunteer housing in the summer.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
Volunteers Jason Fortis, Carlie Smith,
Sean Coogan, Linda and Jim Sorter.
My home to the left and the new Volunteer house to the right