Saturday, August 25, 2012

Tag -a- long

Using beach trash to relocate eggs.
After a quiet night without any nests on either patrol,  I am awoken at 4:30 AM by Victor telling me it is time to head down to Punto Coyote to help Erik with the fishery work.  The tide is finally low enough in the mornings that we can walk the 2.5 kilometers to the estuary without a problem. As we get just about a 1/2 of a kilometer away from the estuary, we are surprised to see a turtle track. We had stopped patrolling that far to the south because we hadn't had a turtle and I felt our time was better utilized patrolling where there were turtles. Anyways, we approached the nest bed and were surprised to find it still had the eggs. So Victor and I quickly collected the eggs and relocated them to a less conspicuous  area on the beach and we could pick them up later. While I was counting the eggs the mama dog shows up and begins sniffing around our newly relocated nest. Worried she might try and eat them, I call her to follow us down the beach and we find another 3 tracks. Unfortunately, all 3of them were poached, but it made me rethink our patrol schedules once again.

When we finally made it to the estuary, we still had our tag along dog. Seeing as the tide was coming in and we needed to use a boat to cross to the docks, I assumed the dog would just go home. However, I was wrong . Mama dog, still full of milk, swam all the way across the large estuary to spend time with us. As she swam, all the fishermen were watching in amazement. Once she got to the other side, she was glued to me in fear of the local dogs; who didn't seem to like having her there. She was well-behaved and stayed out of the way as we worked. We finished the data collection in just under 2 hours and then we were all, including the dog, returned to the beach.
The day's catch

Recording data
Waiting for our ride.
Miguel and his fish.
Like father, like son

The kids giving Victor a Spanish lesson.

When we got home I was so exhausted and ready for a long nap. But just as I laid down for my nap, I heard little voices. The local kids were at the house asking for help on their English homework.  I couldn't say no, so I pulled out our card table and chairs. After about an hour of English tutoring, the kids brought out books to teach us Spanish and I got an hour long Spanish vocab lesson. 

That night we went out on the beach from 10PM- 12 AM only to have all 4 of the nests laid last night poached.  It is getting very hard to stay positive when it feels like we are in a loosing battle with poachers. They have cars, motorcycles, quads and even horses; all of which are faster than us walking.

Turtle Tracker
Turtles Nested: 52
Nests in the Hatchery: 32
Eggs in the Hatchery: 3060
Babies Released: 1

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