We have been back at patrolling every night and working hard to rescue our sweet babies. It has been a rough start to the season this year, and finally, we are ready to share what has been going on.
Since beginning our patrols this year, we have had many poached nests (68 so far), stolen turtles (7), nests eaten by dogs (6), and turtles killed by dogs while nesting (5). It has been hard to see, but we keep at it. We change up our start times and patrol routes in an effort to interrupt the poachers and scare away the packs of dogs.
If you were following us last year, you may remember some posts at the end of the season where we had ONE stolen turtle and three killed by dogs. We were so upset at the time. Looking back, those numbers for an entire season almost seem good. Good, really?
If you missed the posts, you can see them here:
The authorities say they are having worse problems in other locations, so maybe we should be thankful. We just want to stop it. We agreed to keep this quiet while they responded, but we cannot be quiet any longer. It is getting worse and worse.
If we could, we would have two patrols groups go out each night and patrol the beach throughout the entire night. Unfortunately, we lack the funds to fill the ATV gas tanks for extra mileage, and really do not have enough volunteers to field two groups every night.
We have rescued 255 nests this season for a total of 23,035 eggs. Statistics tell us that to produce 12 adult turtles (replacing those killed so far this year), we need to rescue 14,117 eggs. These killings are taking away a large percentage of the difference we are able to make.
In an effort to get the word out, we spoke with local news reporters Fernando Arriaga, from TV Azteca Nacional. and Eliuth Patiño, conductor Noticias Megacable. You can see the interview with Damaris (our fearless leader) and Lupe talking about the poaching problems here:
With them was Brenda Escobar from Estereo Vida radio 90.5’s program Costa Grande en la Noticia.
Today we will be visited by another station, Capital Maxima 95.3.
What can you do to help?
First and foremost, do not eat turtle eggs or turtle meat. Believe it or not, there are restaurants that will serve them to you. Please help us spread the word about this.
If you live, or spend part of the year near us in Playa Blanca, consider joining our team of dedicated patrol volunteers. (This volunteer promises you that it is an incredible experience!)
If you are reading from afar, you can still help! Your donation will help us gas up and maintain those ATV’s!!!
Thank you, as always, for your love and support. We could not do this without you!!
The Ayotlcalli Team.