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Newsletter No. 91 - December, 2008
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Hola Volunteers, Friends, and Supporters ~  

The last hatchling from the box nursery was released on December 30th, although it is not over yet.  Since November 28th some 50 nests were collected and placed in our beach nursery.  As the box nursery emptied, the first of these nests on the beach should begin to hatch.  * There is some concern that December’s weather may have been too cold, and may cause the nest survival rate to drop below 78%.  Following is an estimate on how the season may end up when the last nests hatches around February 28th
Box nursery               664 nests       63,545 eggs              53,720 hatchlings               85% survival rate
Left on beach           199 nests       19,044 eggs             . 14,220 hatchlings             . 75% survival rate
* Beach nursery       122 nests       11,298 eggs            ..    8,849 hatchlings               78% survival rate
Taken illegally            71 nests      ..  6,887 eggs
                                =========        =========                ==============
Total                       1,054 nests    100,774 eggs               76,789 hatchlings released

We have developed a new operation plan for the 2009 nesting season based on the following information.  By August 2007 our box nursery had filled to capacity, and we were forced to randomly place all additional nests on the beach in an unfenced area.  By the end of the season this nursery had held over 140 nests and would have been a total success if it had not been for dogs.  Shortly after the first nest began to hatch, half a dozen dogs descended on the nests eating every hatchling in sight, and digging up nests as well. This year we fenced that area, and totally eliminating the dog problem.
The plan goes like this; all nests found on beaches other than San Pancho will be left on those beaches.  Nests found on Playa Los Chololo, Las Bancas and Playa Questo will be moved away from their tracks, (tracks that could lead a poacher to the nests) and relocated to a safer, more protected area to hatch naturally. Nests collected on the San Pancho beach will be placed in the box nursery, although no more than 10 nests per night.  All additional nests or when the box nursery filled to capacity will be placed in the beach nursery.  This plan will eliminate the difficulty of transporting nests from beach to beach, and it will eliminate the problems overloading boxes (August through September), plus cut down on the workload of having to load more then 10 nest boxes in one night.
The first 90 copies of the “2009 Homeowners Directory” have been published. If you would like a copy; please drop by my house any time between noon and midnight.
Group finances:
·         Operation of the nursery, collection of nests and releasing hatchlings, $6,688.
·         Volunteers, including housing, utilities and transportation, $3,006.
·         Overhead, directory, stationary, web site maintenance, internet and telephone, $2,406.
·         Total outlay $12,100 US dollars:
·         54% came from the sale of the Home Directory and small donations
·         43% from the sale of T-shirts
·           3% from interest and miscellaneous other sources.
The sale of T-shirts increased from 547 shirts in 2007 to 764 this year.  However, revenue generated by the sale of the Home Directory has decreased
Weather-wise, there has been no rain throughout December while cloudless skies have dominated the month. Clear skies are probably the reason we’ve been experiencing above normal temperatures in December.  The lagoon is beginning to fill after four months of draining to the sea and perhaps water may flow under the bridge for another three and a half months  Overall the weather has been unseasonably good, chiefly due to our efforts to send all bad weather to the north of the border.
Frank D. Smith
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C
Mexico tel. (311) 258-4100
America Latina #102
San Francisco, Nayarit, Mexico


.......Sunset on a perfect season

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