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San Pancho and Turtle News from Costa Verde Ecological Group

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Frank D. Smith - Ecological Group of Costa Verde
August 4, 2017



First two weeks of July Volunteers: Brigid Feeney, Aubrey Sherry, Jim Sorter, Manuel Murrieta, Peter Jain, Summer Bertrand, Joslin Bertrand, Linda Sorter and Cyndy Phillips.

Hola Volunteers, Supporters and Readers ~

Total nests recorded in July came to 117; total for the season came to 126 nests. No nests will hatch in the box nursery until the first of September. This phenomenon has never happened over the past years, nearly half the nesting turtles are covered with several large barnacles especially around the mouth and nose. Removing them is easy, but the cause is still a mystery.

A real need: we are very short of several volunteers from August 11th through September 21st; if you can lend a hand please let us know. Without help for a while two of us will be on the beach from 9:00 pm to 6:30 am during the peak of the season.

Volunteer wise for July: were Manuel Murrieta, Julio Gonzales, Brigid Feeney, Aubrey Sherry, Joslin and Summer Bertrand, Jessika Grindstaff, Angie Dean, Ryven and Roman Schlichting, Vivian Tauer, Collin Drown and Jessica Schmidt, Returning home are: Brigid Feeney, Aubrey Sherry, Jim and Linda Sorter, Carol Harootunian, Summer Bertrand and Vivian Tauer.


Second week of July Volunteers: Roman Schlichting, Ryven Schlichting, Jerome Schlichting, Collin Drowns, Juan Flores Sr. Angie Dean, Joslin Bertrand, Jessica Hiller, Jorge Pena Morales, Jessika Grindstaff, Norma Patricia, Coyote with Summer Bertrand, Gaby, Vivienne.

The Corona Beer Festivity turned out to be a difficult experience for the program. As they were setting up the stage they also set up several blinding, thousand watt lights which illuminated the entire length of the beach. The lights made driving a hazard, almost impossible to see deep ditches, people laying on the beach, let alone being able to locate nesting turtles.

On the beach in front of town there seemed to be endless beer stands which made it impossible to drive any further to the south side of the Las Palmas restaurant. Except for several thousand cigarette butts they removed the entire operation by the Thursday after the event.

Why does most every homeowner that lives on the beach allow their renters to turn on every single back yard light possible, it just draws million of insects, costs a fortune when you pay the power bill, and is totally unnecessary. Flooding the beach with light also attracts nesting turtles and poachers (which are mostly thieves) to your backyard in search of nests.

There is nothing wrong with some back yard lights if they are constructed in such a manner that a low watt amber light blub cannot be seen from the beach, it is a simple as that!!  Casting lights on the side of the house only and/or up into trees will flood the yard with plenty of good light that can’t be seen from the beach.  Also a good tropical yard color is yellowish-orange, a color the marine turtles can’t see.

I would like to mention a sad, but important, milestone in our program; Jim and Linda Sorter from California have been with our organization since 2001 or sixteen years. From the beginning they have been outstanding volunteers, Jim quickly mastered the dune buggy and collected hundreds of nest while Linda was an expert at packing boxes, and kept records when we were in an overloaded state. For reasons of health they are most likely not able to return to San Pancho, we will sincerely miss their presence.

Weather-wise: daytime temperatures were mostly in the high 80°s to low 90°s, night time temperatures were in the mid to high 70°s. Again, with little rain the lagoon remains closed off to the sea, totally carpeted with water plants, the water dropping fast. The river is bone dry which is not normal for this time of year, although I may add that when I first came here in 1991 the river flowed year around.  Total rainfall for July came to 4.94 inches while the total for the year is 9.39 inches.  The first thunderstorm and rain arrived on June 26th, with no tropical storm activity. By the end of the month, it became very hot and the river bed is unusually dry.

Town and Country wise:  By the number of trucks carrying construction materials it appears that some new construction and remodeling has hit the highest point after a nine year slump. The Corona Beer festivity was a monstrous event that attracted about 3,000 young fans; despite its size it was a well organized two day event which nearly blocked us off the beach. The peso was 17.95 pesos per dollar by the end of the month; regular gasoline in San Pancho was 16.00 pesos per liter, and 3.33 a gallon.

Frank D. Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Project Tortuga
Tel. 311-258-4100

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CHARITY ALERT Ecological Group of Costa Verde Still Needs Turtle Program Volunteers

A real need: We are very short of several volunteers from August 11th through September 21st; if you can lend a hand please let us know.

We have about 38 weeks of open rooms available for anyone that may be interested in joining us this summer (couples or individual).

Click here to see how you can help

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