Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Almond Posts and Nesting Turtles

Carrying a bucket of sand like the
Costa Ricas.

The last couple days have been crazy. I had been hoping to put the first nest in the hatchery on Monday night, but unfortunately it's still not finished.

Monday afternoon with the help of a lot of locals we were able to finally fill the hole completely with sand. When it was full it was so surreal that it was actually over. I thought that the next portion would be quick maybe and hour or two and that we could have the hatchery up and running Tuesday night. But once again I had my hopes set  just a little too high.

Tuesday, we went out to the hatchery and measured it and mapped out the posts on the computer.  I thought it would be easy. We would just dig the holes for the posts and place them in. Then dig a trench and place the net in. I figured 2 hours tops. Well I was wrong!

Erik, Andre, and other locals
showing off hatchery posts.
The first problem we ran into was Victor found a beautiful almond tree that had been cut down. So he and Erik went and cut 8 foot posts, but all the posts had bark on them and bark houses bugs which we don’t want in the hatchery. So Victor and a few locals spent Tuesday afternoon debarking 22 post with machetes and axes. While some of the local kids, volunteers and I went looking for small pieces of drift wood to use a stakes to hold the grid in place.

Hatchery Tuesday evening- Posts and some fencing in
By the time the sunset we had 13 posts debarked and in the ground and the first part of the fence placed on one side of the hatchery. Today we will hopefully finish the hatchery and be able to put the first nest in before I switch back to San Miguel on Friday.

As for turtles we didn't have anything last night, but I think it might have been my fault.  I think we should have patrolled later; the tide was still pretty high when we went out so the turtles may have come later. The big challenge on this beach is going to be figuring out what time to patrol since we only have 3-4 hours of patrol on a beach that is almost 5km compared to the 5-6 hours on 2.5Km San Miguel beach.

Me digging the first nest of the year in Costa De Oro.
Monday night we had on false crawl to the north and one to the south of the station house, but no nesting turtles. Sunday night we had two nesting turtles and we saw them both. The first was huge and she was just reaching the water when we reached her. She was beautiful and laid 137 eggs. The second was just beginning to dig her hole when we approached. She was super close to the house, so I ran back to the house and got the Victor and Kristy who had patrolled to the south so they could see her too. The turtle laid 101 eggs and we moved both nests near to the house so we could keep an eye on them.

Sunset on Costa De Oro looking towards San Miguel
You can see all the way to Samara.

If you are interested in seeing egg, nesting turtle and baby release count for each beach check the turtle tracker on the side of the page. I will try to keep it as up to date as possible.

Uh-oh this dog is pretty cute and very sweet.
Might have already found a PRETOMA dog for Costa De Oro...

The local kids showed up early Monday morning before school to bring me pictures they had drawn for me.  Most of the pictures were of turtles or the hatchery.

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