Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
Since the last newsletter on November 21, only ten additional nests had been collected, and placed in the nursery, with an additional four left on the beach. The total nests recorded this season stands at 614, just 42 nests shy of the 656-recorded set in 2000. Normally by mid-December, we would have less than ten nests in the nursery, although today we have over 62 nests incubating. Hopefully, by January 18 when the last hatchling slips into the sea we will have released over 45,000 hatchlings, or very close to that figure.
Solloso or Rafael, the last troublesome poacher in San Pancho has entered the point of no return. Over the last five years, he has been prowling Playa Questo at sunrise hoping to find a late nest or two. To avoid being discovered he prefers to enter Questo only when the last volunteers had left that Questo around four. Unfortunately, being shorthanded, and exhausted to boot, there was very little we could do to stop him. On December 1st, we were shocked to learn that he had found the nests of a Leatherback, removed the eggs and sold them in town. So, push has come to shove, a letter was sent to the authorities with a powerful indictment, the fact that Solloso had carelessly destroyed the nest of the rare and endangered Leatherback.
This winter the last two original parts remaining on the Group's dune buggy are scheduled to be replaced, the gas tank, and steering column. Along with these parts, all four spring/shocks, the right front fender will be replaced, and a complete overhauled of the brake system. The buggy's performance this season was outstanding, that is when compared with the past.
Just a reminder for those who live in San Pancho; if you would like to contribute to our marine turtle program and have not received a Home Directory, please call me at 258-4100 or drop by my house. This year's publication contains one additional map covering the far north. Over 165 homeowners, or 27 new listings. Over 87 additional e-mail addresses. One additional yellow page and over 51 new telephone numbers, for 43 pages.
Hurricanes are of little danger to marine turtle themselves, although they can cause severe damage to their nesting beaches, and marine turtle encampments. Case in point, on the morning of October 25, 2002, Hurricane Kenna destroyed our nursery, and washed a sizable chunk of our beach inland, reducing its width and height by at least one-third. In general, sand lost via a hurricane is seldom recovered, however, by an unusual twist of fate all the sand is being returned. Contractors building homes along the beachfront of Los Olas are pushing massive amounts of sand back onto the beach, in order to clear the way for foundations and swimming pools. In fact, more sand is being returned than was originally lost to Kenna. On the other hand, hurricanes can be helpful, Kenna destroyed a major part of the Blas shrimp fishing fleet, a fleet that refused to adopt the mandatory turtle excluder devise, and remained up to that time the major killer on the marine turtle.
Weather-wise, it has been pleasant here with days in the mid 80's and nights down to the low to mid 70's, with some high cloud and light winds. Somewhere around the end of November, the opening between the lagoon and the ocean sealed, trapping sewage in the lagoon, and within a week, the sea turned to a turquoise blue.
Deflating the macho ego of the poacher, and those who would purchase turtle eggs from him. The poster below is saying, "My man does not need turtle eggs" subjecting that if a man needs the help of marine turtle eggs, he's a wimp, and should seek the help of a doctor. Sponsored by all the major marine turtle organizations, the ad campaign seems to be achieving its goal; it is making poachers and women a like thing carefully about the need of turtle eggs.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico