Turtle rescue and nursery in San Pancho

BACK FROM THE BRINK
BY JOSLIN BERTRAND

The months of August and September are the peak nesting season for endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtles in Mexico.  If you walk the beach any  night this month after midnight you might be rewarded by the sight of one of these amazing creatures making a nest hole and laying eggs in San Pancho’s warm Pacific sand.

So far this season, Grupo Ecologico de la Costa Verde has recorded 514 nests– which is 139 nests more than last year at this time.  Grupo Eco volunteers patrol the beaches every night to collect and move the nests to one of two incubation nurseries here in town where they are monitored and protected for 45 days until they hatch.
Early turtle nests that were collected in July are now beginning to hatch at the Main Nursery and hatchlings releases are being performed every night at sunset.  The secondary beach nursery was severely damaged by the huge storm swells last week and repairs are currently underway to make that nursery fully operational again.

The 3,000 eggs that were incubating there when the waves hit are still in place, but it is unlikely they survived the 3 days of salt water inundation. Those nests are not due to hatch until the second week of October, so at this point, all we can do is wait and hope.  Luckily there are still over 300 nests safe and dry at the Main Nursery where they are hatching at a rate of about 200 hatchlings a day.

For more information, visit San Pancho Turtles on Facebook  or  www.project-tortuga.org

Also check out my very short video of baby turtles on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brWPOKpAo7kbaby turtles from San Pancho nursery

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Melissa

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