Conservation in Mexico - Monthly Update April/May 2010
Waiting for the rains to come.
We're now almost half way though the year! The maintenance work on our camp facilities has been completed; this would not have been possible without the help of all the volunteers. Now we can enjoy all the improvements and are ready for the future volunteers to come and help us over the next few months.
With the infrastructure issues solved, high season is now approaching. We have been able to buy an extra quad bike and hopefully we will see this addition reflected in the amount of eggs we collect. The staff are ready and the number of volunteers also increase over the next couple of months, so hopefully we will see this high season through with results that will make us very proud of the work we deliver.
The number of nests we collect every night has increased as well, it is becoming more and more common that we get the chance to spot an Olive Ridley sea turtle laying their precious load of eggs on the beach we protect, hence the more frequent chance to release the hatchlings into the ocean.
It is just as the rainy season starts that the conditions for the turtles to come out to lay improves and the rains mark our busiest time at the conservation project.
Biodiversity Study, El Chupadero Lagoon
With the constant monitoring of El Chupadero lagoon we have spotted over 90 different species of birds that inhabit the area. It has now become imperative that we create a new system to obtain new results that will make this list larger. We have decided to create new sighting areas all along the lagoon. Each sighting spot will be an anchor point for our boat, giving us the chance to see a more detailed view of the species that surround us. We have already started placing the first of the anchor points in the calm waters of the lagoon in strategic areas that are well known by us for being the best for bird watching.
With the constant monitoring of the wild crocodiles that nest around the area in the Crocodile farm, we estimate around 26 nests have already been laid in the perimeter. The last couple of weeks our staff and volunteers have joined the local vet to collect the precious eggs the crocodiles have come out to lay. So far we have already collected 2 nests, with 56 and 62 eggs in each one. Armed only with sticks and rope, the local vet along with our staff collect the eggs. Volunteers watch from behind a protected fence from a safe distance to observe how this work takes place. We have to encourage the volunteers to be really quiet as we have to pay attention to every single noise that would warn us of the proximity of the female crocodile coming to protect its nest.
The main reason why we protect the crocodile nests is because we know that the survival rate of the baby crocodiles left in the wild is very low. By controlling their birth conditions we secure their first and second year of survival before hopefully releasing them in the wild.
Beach Clean ups.
Supporting the families in the area, the government has created a series of temporary jobs to provide a source of income for local people in need of extra financial support. One of the main programs is the litter collection. Our staff and volunteers joined the local people to clean up areas that otherwise would be left unattended, at the moment we are focusing on the 24 km that we protect.
Hopefully we will start to join all the different collection programs in the area, this kind of activity is the type that leaves a real social mark with the locals. We are responsible for the impression people get from our presence and it's great to set a good example. We hope that this kind of work will create a better ecological consciousness in the local people.
Finally, the reason why I've combined the April and May updates is due to being away from Tecoman for a couple of weeks. I had the chance to travel to Peru to visit the Conservation project there in the rainforest and some of the other projects in the Sacred Valley. Many thanks to Stuart and Tim for their hospitality.