Greetings from Campamento Tortuguero Ayotlcalli!
We have just wrapped up our first full month of the season, and it has been quite an adventure!
In the month of August, we rescued 204 nests containing 19,238 eggs. These were all relocated to our hatchery and will be released to the sea when they hatch after about 45 days of incubation!
We lost 27 nests and 4 nesting turtles to human poachers. A story follows about one we almost lost, but with the help of our caring neighbors and our wonderful volunteers, made it back to the sea safely!
It was a ‘good’ month as far as dogs are concerned, we lost just 3 nests and 0 nesting turtles to our canine poachers.
It was an even better month for tagging turtles. Our team of volunteers tagged 30 nesting females, which is more than ever! This is surely due to the fact that we are patrolling twice every night so are spending more time monitoring the beach.
And, only one of our July nests hatched so far. It had a 91% hatch rate, which we are extremely happy about! The firsts nests of the season often don’t do this well, so this is very good news. Smiles all around.
So those are the numbers for the month. But don’t go yet, we have more to share!
We always have non-turtle encounters to report, and here is one of our favorites. They are so cute when they’re babies…but we steer clear of mama and papa.
We also have some great stories this month about our neighbors and friends in the community!
A neighbor notified us that during the bad storms, a turtle was high on his property and needed help back to the sea. She was confused and tired, so he was happy to help her. He also noticed that she was tagged and took note of her tag #. She was a female we tagged last year! How cool is that?
Another night, we had several nests and 2 turtles poached, or stolen, from the beach. This is upsetting to us, especially the poached turtle, since only 1 in 1,000 hatchlings survives to adulthood. To beat such great odds, only to be snatched off the beach when nesting… It makes us sad, and angry too.
But one of these girls had luck on her side! In the morning, we received a call that someone was reporting a sea turtle in the brush by the road. It was, indeed one our girls! She was still tied up in the rope they used to drag her from the beach. She was weak, but once the waves hit her, she swam off. Just near her was a bucket with 2 nests of poached eggs, which are safe now in our hatchery!
Here she is going home. A happy ending…YAY!
We had some heavy rains and storms this month, which caused the lagoons to open up. When this happens tons (literally) of organic matter and trash (much of it plastic bottles) is washed into the sea and onto the beach. Many in our beach community heeded the call for help! They came and picked up trash, sent workers to help. We even had some help from a backhoe! So much recyclable plastic was collected that the municipal truck has been out twice and there is still more.
It is often said that it takes a village, and it truly does. We have such great friends and neighbors in our ‘village’ helping us help the sea turtles.
Even if you are far away, you can still help us out! Won’t you consider helping our efforts with a donation, perhaps?
Or, you could start your Christmas shopping early by adopting a nest! It is simple, it is safe, and you don’t even need to leave home to do it.
As always, thank you so very much for reading and for your support! Stay safe, stay healthy and most importantly…Stay Happy!!