San Pancho and Turtle News from Ecological Group of Costa Verde

Frank Smith - Ecological Group of Costa Verde
January 4, 2021


Hola Volunteers and Supporters ~

Turtle Wise: The number of nests recorded this December came to 29, and by the end of December the season total came to 1,085, while poachers made off with 2 nests. The formula for calculating the estimated number of hatchlings for 2020 goes like this: 1,085 of the total nests collected, times 97 eggs per nest, times a survival rate of .841% equal’s about 88,512 hatchlings that hopefully made it out to sea.

By January we expect nest collection will drop to less than one a week. This drop generally begins in early December and coincides with colder temperatures especially during this winter. The temperature drop will also cause the incubation time to increase to about 75 days as compared to a normal 45 days. The downside to cold temperature also weaking the hatchlings causing the survival to drop well below 50%.

Starting on January 1st, we are leaving all nests on the beach in place, although if possible we will disguise some nest sites and tracks. Dogs digging up nests this season has not been a serious problem. Also to be cost-effective as of December 7th, we will not be using the dune buggy to collect nests.

For various reasons including the pandemic our ability to raise funds this year has been seriously crippled. Although on the bright side, through the generous donations we received via PayPal we are able to keep our nose above water. Unfortunately all other means of raising funds including the Home Directory, our hatchling releases, T-shirts sales and small donations received at the nursery and on the beach have plummeted to an all-time low of 25% below normal.

Inter Press ServiceWe have received many wonderful donations from around the world and would like to thank all our contributors for their help. The list of this month donors are: Jack and Franny Bischof, Jennifer Nelsen, Karen Hope, Amy Arsenault, Gale Greer, Sarah Hunnewell, Dana Rensi, Robert Graham, Timothy Capley, Victoria Street, Eileen Pierce, Ronald Walsh, Kathryn Menard, Allison Rodriguez, Rachel Humphrey, Sally Munro and Richard Spott.

Total expenditure for this 2020 season was a little more than 131 thousand pesos, or 6,720 in today’s dollars exchange (lower than normal because we were not operating the box nursery). A summary 2020 expenses:

T-shirts - 6.2% - 500 received the day the pandemic began.

Nursey field supplies - 2.6% - Rods, flashlight batteries and nest bags.

Dune buggy maintenance - 54.0% - Mostly replacing worn out parts.

Dune buggy gasoline - 26.8% - On the beach May through December.

Overhead cost - 10.4%  - All other expenditures not listed above.

As you see the dune buggy maintenance consumed 54% of the 2020 budget. All I can say is this season was the year of replacing all worn out parts such as the engine, transmission, fan assembly, battery, starter, alternator, coil, both tie rods, brake shoes, front hubs, master and wheel brake cylinders, muffler, and the steering wheel. Most of the maintenance had begun in November and will continue into January.

December Volunteers: Manuel Murrieta, Karen Sorum and Hallie Loveridge, Juan Flores and family, Taylor Kimbell, Katie Grant and Esteban Millard.

Weather-wise: Temperatures during the day were in the high 70’s° to low 80’s°, while night time temps were in the high 50’s° to very low 70’s°. We received 1.82 inches of rain in December, while the total rainfall for the year came to 58.11 inches. Wonderful weather out here, but the nights are very cold for December in San Pancho.

With the help of Steve Reschke, we were able to make several major changes to our internet service. Our internet service provider and register of our website is now Hover.com, while adding or deleting articles to of our website is done through Weebly.com; and SendFox.com will mail out over 950 newsletters a month.

Except for the Christmas and New Year holiday, by December we should have been flooded with seasonal homeowners from around the world, but that was not the case. North of the golf course is still like a ghost town except for a few renters. New home construction is at a near all-time high.

While traveling through town I was shocked to noticed that 95% of the public were not wearing a facemasks or keeping any social distance. On the other hand, I am happy to learn that the caretakers in the hospital ICU’s and elderly are receiving the vaccine first. China is number one in world’s population but has less than 1% of the world’s total cases, while the USA is 4th in world population and has over 23% of the worlds cases.

Frank Smith, Director
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, A.C.
Our email is: grupo-eco@project-tortuga.org
Our website is: http://www.project-tortuga.org
Tel. 311-258-4100

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