Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Friends ~
The 2007 nesting season is a mirror image of last year's and may end up being the biggest season on record- between 600 and 700 nests. By the end of August, we had collected over 242 nests. Twenty-four nests were left on the beach because either they could not be found or they were a day old and could not be moved.
Poaching of nests is a mixed bag. To date, we have lost seven nests to people walking on the beach, generally after sunset, and finding nests that we have missed. Three other nests were lost to construction workers from the Los Olas development. One nest was lost when a driver of a 4X4 pickup, pulled up beside a nest, dug it up, and promptly drove off. Three nests were lost to two other poachers. Luckily, the pair was found hiding on the beach the next night. They were identified and warned to stay away from the nests. Six other nests were lost to poachers not yet identified but they will be soon.
On the night of August 17th, Mark and I set out for Playa Questo on a quest to catch poachers that had taken three nests the day before. For over twenty minutes we made our way southward along the beach in total darkness when, suddenly, we heard something up ahead and began running in the direction of three startled figures. First, they ran in the direction of Sayulita but quickly changed their course and ran around us in the direction of San Pancho. Being much younger than us, it was hopeless to catch up with them, and so we followed their tracks to a trail that poachers often use to get around Hardesty's gate. By the looks of the tracks, it seems that the poachers were three nest-robbing dogs, that by the way have not returned to this beach.
Otherwise, everything is going as well as expected or, in some cases, even better. Apart from some minor repairs to the dune buggy, and despite the overwhelming task it's asked to perform nightly, it has performed exceptionally well.
Kim, our first volunteer of the season, returned home on August 2nd. The group of six, Mark Saleh, Martha Gosch, Celine O'Sullivan, Kate Ni Dhuill, Leeann Tully Dillon, and Ruth McKenna returned to Ireland on August 28th. Jim and Linda Sorter arrived on August 15th. Curt and Lisa Bertrand and family arrived on August 28th and Kimberley Gundelach arrived on September 1st. (See photo below of all August volunteers). We are again short on volunteers.
Hurricane Dean plowed through the Caribbean and Mexico leaving a path of destruction in its wake. In our case, it delivered over 5.5 inches of badly needed rain, pushing our seasonal rainfall to 21.45+ inches as compared to only 16.55 inches last year. On August 23rd, Dean's rains opened the lagoon to the sea, and caused the river to flow for the first time this year.
As positive as Dean's rains may have been, it also illustrates the handy work of the local ranchers and their ongoing "slicing-and-dicing" of the jungle. The photo below shows numerous piles of floating debris scattered along the entire length of all our beaches. This debris was once jungle, a valuable ingredient of a healthy watershed, take it from there folks.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico