Hola Volunteers, Friends, and Supporters ~
Awesome! 118 nests have been recorded by the end of July- almost double that of any other year. Ten nests were left on the beach and eleven taken illegally, with 97 placed in the nursery. First hatchlings will arrive on August 18th. Because of the overwhelming number of nests that we could encounter this season, we are planning to transfer all nests found on El Chololo, Las Bancas and Questo to better locations on the same beach.
Over the past sixteen years we’ve observed a significant shift in nesting along our six beaches. Playa Huachinango or the San Francisco beach had traditionally received 58% of all nests recorded, however today that number has increased to 83% generally over the past five years. While other nesting beaches such as, El Chololo, Las Bancas, Juntas, Juan Ruiz and Questo have decreased by 25%.
Despite a series of small nagging problems (repairing the starter, eight flat tires, replacing the battery, both wheel hub and two sets of bearings in the alternator), the dune buggy is holding its own.
Throughout the month of June and July, the number of enlisted volunteers has worked out perfectly. By the end of July we had twelve volunteers including Johanne Pouliot and Lisa Fisher fulltime from Canada, Scott Boyce from Canada, Quentin Cooley, Bethany Jenkins, Kelly Groomes, Gale Greer, Daniel Holzmann and Jessica Schmidt from the US and Jakub Gogolewski from Poland. See image below.
The second story on top of the volunteer house will be ready to occupy shortly after the first of August. This beautiful new apartment will accommodate two to five volunteers and comes with a rooftop patio, a great view in all directions and a small patio off the kitchen. See image below.
In mid-July, the volunteers were collecting fresh sand for the marine turtle nursery when a young man drove up on a quad runner. He told the volunteers that no vehicles were allowed on the beach for any reason, including collecting sand, releasing hatchlings and patrolling for marine turtle nests at night. He identified himself as a government employee, a member of the Protección Civil y Bomberos with the responsibility to keep vehicles off the beach. He stated that Playa Huachinango was one of two beaches in the state of Nayarit involved in a pilot study to determine the best way of providing public safety and sanitation.
Their request is strange because Bomberos (firemen) only work weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm while we patrol Playa Huachinango nightly from 10:30 pm until 6:00 am when there is rarely anyone on the beach. Over the past twelve years, we have managed to keep poaching down to 6% by using the dune buggy to patrol the beach end-to-end every 45 minutes. We can safely cover the entire two kilometer beach in 20 minutes and this discourages the poachers because they can only walk a fraction of that distance in the same period of time. In any case, we have not stopped patrolling with the buggy nor have we seen the Bomberos since.
Weather-wise, by the end of July, we had received 18 inches of rain, which is about 8 inches more than received in any of the past four years. Despite the additional rain, the river remains dry, which means the town aquifer is not yet filled to capacity. Although, twice during July, due to heavy downpour, the lagoon was briefly opened to the sea. So far this season, there is no water lettuce in the lagoon. For complete San Pancho weather see http://www.sanpanchoweather.com/
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 left Top row - Scott Boyce, Jakub Gogolewski, .. . . ........ Living room of the new volunteer house
Quentin Cooley, Adrienne Greer.
Second row left - Jessica Schmidt, Terra Ziudmeer.
Front row -Dan Holzmann, Kelly Groomes, Gale Greer.
Sunset view from the front poarch