Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
By July 27th, we had collected nearly 42 nests, seven less than we had collected last year at this time. Overall, it looks as if we may end up with about 550 nests this season or about 71 less than the 621 collected last year. The first nest should hatch sometime around August 15th.
On the night of July 12th, we made our first pass across the entire length of Playa Questo. We were amazed to find only two nests on the entire beach, both untouched. Up until this time, it would have been nearly impossible to find any nests left in the beach after sunup, especially with our number one poacher, Soy Oso, on Playa Questo almost every night. Although, there is a very good reason for his absence on Questo, or any other beach. Eight months ago, we filed several legal complaints against him through Profepa, Semarnat, and the State Police. Our legal efforts resulted in a restraining order with the full intent of keeping him off the beaches for good. In any case, we have lost only six nests, but not to Solloso, and if no one takes his place, our work on Playa Questo should be a lot easier.
A reminder to homeowners that live near or along the beach. Our task of releasing nearly 60,000 hatchling a year is not an easy one; especially if there is artificial light visible from the release area, along the shore. Hatchlings and adults are disoriented by these lights and will turn in the direction of the light away from the sea.
Case in point: try doing this on your belly with 50 pounds on your back. On the night of July 24th, after laying her eggs (about 350 feet inland and while returning halfway back to the sea), she saw a light on a beach front gate and turned in its direction. By the time, she reached the light she had crawled over half a mile from the point where she had left the sea. After spending over an hour crawling in circles under this light, she returned another 350 feet to reach the sea.
Throughout the month of July, we've been fortunate to have ten great volunteers. Six from Ireland: Martha Gosch, Mark Saleh, Leeann Ni Dillon, Ruth McKenna, Celine Mangan, and Caoimhe Kate Ni Dhuill. One from Canada: Kim Gauthier. Three from California: Dirk, Gessica and Kamren Smith. They are an exceptionally good group of workers. (See photo below)
We have found the perfect styrofoam nest box. It's size fits between the regular and the large box and will hold up to 108 eggs.
We've purchased a new Hitachi CPX1 Multimedia Projector. This projector will allow us to use hundreds of digital images that we have previously been unable to use at our slideshow and other presentations.
We have also purchased 20 new nest thermometers that are guaranteed by the manufacturer to give us accurate temperatures.
After years of red tape, our financial records (years 2000 to 2006) have finally been approved by SAT and Hacienda (Mexico's Internal Revenue Service) and returned to us through the help of our accountant.
If you're looking for a good minute-by-minute San Pancho weather report, take a look at this new website: <http://sanpanchoweather.com/> According to my rain gauge, if we do not receive rain by the end of July, we will be over 7 inches below last July's amount.
What is an Aquifer? They are found above bedrock and generally beneath a river basin, ancient alluvial fans of rock, gravel, and sand. In our case, it is a natural reservoir or small lake beneath the surface.
Since our aquifer is one continuous reservoir, or body of water, that extends up some of the deeper canyons and down to the beach, it is highly unlikely that a hidden pocket of water exist anywhere within it. Nevertheless, while San Pancho faces another dry year, others are planning to increase the number of homes along its fringes. They use the red herring that "we alone know where there is enough water to service several hundred homes" Sorry, if that were true, they would have found it decades ago.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico
Top row: Kate Ni Dhuill, Dirk Smith, Ruth McKenna
Meddle row: Kim Gauthier, Leeann Tully Dillon, Celine Mangen
First row: Gessica and Kamren Smith, Martha Gosch and Mark Saleht.