Hola Volunteers, Friends and Supporters -
On October 25, 2002, waves created by hurricane Kenna destroyed our nursery on the beach, (fortunately no nests were lost). Within days, a smaller nursery was rebuilt in my front yard using what little lumber was left after the hurricane. I felt at the time that the new nursery should be enlarge from 180 nests to it original size of 270 nests. Although, over the following three years the nursery comfortably held 300 nests, and perhaps it would be good several more year. Not so, within the first weeks of this season, we begin to realize that this year was anything but normal. By late August, it appeared that we may end up facilitating over 500 nests in the nursery.
By the first week of September, the nursery reached capacity, and all nests that were within a week of hatching were moved to my front porch to make needed space. Never the less some 78 nests were relocated to several protected areas along the beaches to hatch naturally. Unfortunately, throughout their 45-day incubation period these nests were inundated with over 30 inches of rain, attacked by parasites, and relentlessly dug up by dogs. Despite these problems, 51% to 66% of the total eggs managed to hatch producing 3,980 hatchlings.
By the end of November we had recorded over 600 nests, a little shy of the record number recorded in 2000 when 641 nests were found. 482 have been placed in the nursery; of that number about 350 nests have hatched producing 28,300 hatchlings. Something to boast about, by the end of this season; we may released over 43,000 hatchlings. The previous record was set in 2000 when we released 40,661 hatchlings.
Unlike past years, very few nests have been illegally taken out from under our noses. The hardcore, seasoned poachers that stubbornly prowled the beaches at night has given way to the opportunist that lurks upon the beach at sunup in hopes of find a nest or two that we have unfortunately overlooked. In any case, we have lost less than 6.1% or 38 nests out of 600.
Generally by this time of the year the nursery contains no more than 40 nests or 22% of its capacity, and by mid-November it becomes too cold to incubate nests until the following season in mid-June. Although this season may be different, if you familiar with Frank Lloyd Wright, and his practical use of "thermo passive heating" you're familiar with the term "thermo mass", the heating of water, rock, or in our case sand. Thermo mass is the process of storing heat in the nest boxes during the day, and naturally releases it into the nursery it at night when it is needed. There is also one other natural event that helps the heating process at night, around the last 12 days of incubation; each nest rises 4° to 8° in temperature. This process causes the entire nest to hatch together, and collectively help them reach the surface as a group. By mid-November our nursery contains 170 nests or 95% of capacity, and for the first time since 2000 we have enough thermo mass to continue incubating nests for another two or three weeks. The last nest will hatch by the end of January, not December.
So who said global warming is a bad thing, if given a change it will create numerous hurricanes to make out summers exciting, give us the rains we so badly need, and just think, a new beach front outside the door of our local hospital. This season total reached 60.5 inches; one third of this amount was created by three tropical storms. It is also important to note that without these tropical storms we would be under drought conditions today.
Community improvement; over the past several months, eight dirt roads have been surfaced with a combination of cobblestone and concrete; Calle Africa, Camboya, Buenosaires, Birmania, Tallandia, Haiti, Cailan and El Salvador. Get ready for water meters, Calla Argelia, Cuba, Mexico, Africa and the lower 2 blocks of Tercer Mundo have been outfitted with new water lines with standpipe at each home to support meters. State-of-the-art lighting has been placed around the soccer field, 6 post carrying 4 powerful lights each.
Weather wise, the humidly has given way to comfortable days in the high to mid 80's and cool nights down to the mid 70's. No rain since the 26th of October and of course we leaped like a frog from mud dust in two days.
Volunteer wise, of the twenty-two volunteers scheduled to help this nesting season, only ten full-time hands actually made it to San Pancho. Except for the month of September where we have sufficient volunteers, we were short by at least two to three workers throughout the season. If it was not for the outstanding work of the ten volunteers that made it, we wound not have been able to release over 43,000 hatchlings.
The "2006 Homeowners Directory" has been published. Although, to make sure that it stays current regarding the listing of new homeowners, your future change of address, and/or corrections; only 8 will be printed at a time. So.....if you have any new information, including that of new homeowners, let me know as soon as possible so I can add them to the next addition.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
September 20th, Mexico's Independent Day,
Parade in San Francisco
By Dave Fisher