“28 nests last night. (one poached).” Joslin Carson posted.
I woke up to this message this morning posted by San Pancho Turtles on my Facebook page. I immediately went into a panic! 28 turtles laying eggs on the beach last night, wow right? Figuring each nest holds between 80 to 120 eggs I could only imagine how much the volunteers at San Pancho Turtles must be over worked, tired and probably burnt out after a night like that. I do believe there are less than 10 volunteers right now and normally only three of them work a four-hour shift at a time. Did the turtles not get the memo, no more nest than 10 nest a night por favor? Additionally there were 19 nest a few nights before and they are coming strong this year. I’ve got to admit, reading “28 nest last night” brought back memories of the time I spent there and when we would have 10 -15 nest a night and how much work that was. Many of those nights turned into long days working well past your appointed shift time to get everything wrapped up, then a little sleep and back on shift again. You see the real works begins as soon as those momma turtles pat down and hide those nest. If you’re not standing right there to see where she disguised the nest, it’ll take you an additional 2-5 minutes to follow the tracks, locate the eggs, dig up the nest (15 min.), inventory and document the location (date time group) etc. Then they have to be transported, placed into containers, documented and placed in the nursery (15 – 20 minutes per nest). As you can see by the chart posted below and doing the numbers, multiply the number of nest by the time it takes to attend each nest ( 28 nest X 35 minutes= 980 minutes divided by 60 + 16.3 hours) and it’s a whole lot of turtle shift……. and there is a shortage of volunteers, reports Joslin. Additionally the nursery is filling up, there have been problems with the dune buggy and a lot of extra supplies have had to be purchased this year because of the increase. Help is needed all around. But mostly, they need volunteers!
“Unfortunately several volunteers have canceled at the last moment, as they do almost every season, but this time it has left us seriously short of help during the peak nesting month of August (and perhaps during a peak nesting year). We urgently need help in August. If you or anyone you know can help us, please contact us. We have two bedrooms available in apartment #1.”saysJoslin Carson, Coordinator, in their newsletter.
Grupo Ecológico de la Costa Verde, marine turtle preservation project
Joslin continues “At the end of July, 2012, we had collected a record 115 nests. This record was surpassed by 180 nests by the end of this July 2014. If this trend continues throughout the season we will have on our hands a staggering problem. If you do the math, it means that by the end of this season we may end up with over 2,195 total nests. This is about double the 1,190 we collected last season. In any case, to date, 163 nests were placed in the box nursery.”
So any of you out there that have the time, please volunteer. San Pancho is an easy flight into Puerto Vallarta Mexico and Frank Smith, the director would be pleased to pick you up. From most US cities PV is less than a four-hour flight. Ideally if you could spend a month or more would be great. Lodging is affordable right there at the nursery, and this is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget. Also if you can’t find the time to volunteer, a monetary donation would be greatly appreciated as well.