Well, it certainly has been a while since our last blog. What a long strange trip it’s been!
And still is…
But our Mama tortugas don’t know anything about what is going on here on solid land. They have been swimming, feeding, and mating in preparation for the nesting season here on our beautiful beach.
Nature doesn’t wait, and we expect that the poachers won’t either! We also have many more stray dogs on the beach now, so are concerned about both the nesting turtles and the nests. It is time to start!
To that end, we are extremely excited about the start of our nightly patrols last night! Our volunteer team found 3 nests, all species Olive Ridley (Golfina). They rescued a total of 276 eggs, which were relocated safely into our corral. And the most exciting news, especially for new volunteers Estafania & Daniela, was that they also encountered a nesting mama at the last nest found!
These patrols will continue till the ladies stop nesting some time next spring. March, April, or possibly even May. If you have been on our beach in the middle of the night, then you understand why we are so excited getting started. If you haven’t been, try it out!
LOTS of work has gone into preparing for this, maintenance on the ATV’s and rebuilding the hatchery corral are the two biggest items. There are also lots of maybe less exciting stuff like paperwork and meetings.
Here are some pictures of our volunteers building the first corral for this season.
As you may know, like everyone else, our season ended quite abruptly last spring just before one of our busiest times, which is Semana Santa (Easter week). And like everyone else, there was lost income and belt tightening to go along with that.
Normally, we have international volunteers that come for weeks or months during the nesting season to help us out. Some stay in our volunteer cabin, while some are ex-pats that stay on their own in the area. This year, we are starting out with local and full-time resident ex-pat volunteers. Only time will tell when/if we will be able to safely accept other volunteers.
In addition to the shortage of volunteers, we are trying to figure out public releases (to have, or not have…if we have them, how to do so safely). We have time since it will be almost 2 months before we have hatchlings, but the logistics need to be worked out. Since the releases happen on a public beach, crowd control will be an issue. More to come on that as we see what the future holds.
But we are up to the challenge and are committed to continuing our work of helping our local sea turtle population!
We know times are tough and funds are short, but if you are able, won’t you consider a donation to support this important work? Or maybe adopting a nest?
Thank you so much for reading, and welcome to our 2020-2021 season. It feels wonderful to be doing something good in this crazy time!
The Ayotlcalli Team