A fairly swift post from us this time, just to give you all an update on the season so far...
Turtle season officially kicked off in La Barrona on July 1st with the inauguration of the hatchery and donations from local egg harvesters have been trickling in slowly ever since. CONAP (the government agency responsible for Guatemala’s sea turtle conservation and management of protected areas) have been extremely supportive of our work in La Barrona and have reinforced clearly in everybody’s mind that 20% of every turtle nest found has to be donated to the hatchery. Despite this being the law, La Barrona is still the only hatchery in Guatemala that actually receives the legal 20% donation- which reinforces that Guatemala still has a long way to go if it is to preserve its sea turtles and the livelihoods of so many coastal inhabitants.
But leading the way, and a force to be reckoned with in terms of local sea turtle conservation efforts, are of course the La Barrona Sea Turtle Stewards; Melvin, Tito, Miguel, Leonel, Maynor, Arturo. The guys are back on the beach, giving up their free time, collecting egg donations on the beach and talking with egg harvesters to raise awareness on the importance of donating eggs to the hatchery. The Stewards have now been trained how to bury eggs in the hatchery and will be a lot more involved in the hatchery side of the work. Once again, it is an absolute pleasure to work with these guys and key to the success of the project.
|Stewards receiving hatchery training|
The latest stats for the season so far are as follows;
Total no. of eggs buried in the hatchery = 5793
Total no. of nests laid = 375
Biggest nesting night so far = 09/09/12 with 34 nests!!
This year's volunteers have been amazing. With a bit of a shaky start to the season on our part, they stuck with us and made sure the project was a success - a huge thanks to each and every one of them, we couldn't have done it without you!
|Volunteers learning hammock making|
Latest edition to the Guate. family:
And to finish, some exciting baby news... our dear friends Karina (Ever's sister) and Gato have just given birth to a little baby boy named bebe Zander (hmmm, I wonder where that name came from!?), the latest edition to the Guate, turtle family. a big congratulations to them, I know we all can't wait to meet bebe Zander!
|Gato and Karina, Puerto San Jose|