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Conservation and Environment in Mexico: Monthly Updates

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Conservation in Mexico - Monthly Update September 2007

Adult crocodile

We have had a lot of recent turtle activity here as a result of the high season, including the nightly escapades of hatchlings to the building instead of the sea. In one night 100 nests were collected. These nests are set to hatch by the end of this month or the beginning of the next, so we will have our hands full with baby turtles!

During one of our two week specials, we were lucky enough to have a turtle lay her eggs outside the classroom in the middle of the afternoon, allowing everyone the magical moment of watching a turtle dig a nest, lay her eggs, rebury them and then make her way back to the sea. Of course those of you who have witnessed this know that it isn't really a moment, more like half an hour!

Sunset at the lagoon

And all this doesn't include the rescue of a turtle that decided to take a swim in our well! One night as our little escape artists ran from the corral, some got confused by the pretty lights of the building and headed there, with one hatchling deciding to go over the edge of the well.

Thankfully Rene and I saw this happen, so with a cup attached to some string, we lowered it into the well and scooped the baby turtle out and set him on his way back to the sea.

Released hatchlings

Unfortunately we also have some bad news as well. Some of our turtles that we keep for educational purposes have passed away. In our pools we have 3 adult Olive Ridleys that we are unable to release as they would not survive. We also have 4 adult Black turtles, and 4 baby Olive Ridley turtles. The two turtles that died were the smallest Black turtle and one of the large Black turtles.

Our crocodile repopulation project is carried out at a local crocodile farm, where we have a lagoon inhabited by two species of crocodiles Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus moreletti and a small breeding population. The crocodile farm is doing very well at the moment with the government improving the infrastructure. This includes proper toilets, new walkways, and changes to the pens for our breeding population making them more secure and providing more pens for our newest hatchlings.

We are proud to announce that all our collection of eggs has paid off as we now have 5 other groups of young hatchlings. Some of the groups are fairly feisty, but the rest are very docile. They are all growing very well, and we have had very few die.

Turtle in our pool

Our lagoon has changed drastically recently as the local group of fisherman who manage the lagoon have opened up the lagoon to the sea to drain the lagoon as the water levels were very high. This has resulted in a lot of new species arriving to the area, taking our species list to over 80 now. With the lagoon now open, the area of beach near the bar has been totally removed, meaning that the patrols start from the other side of the river after a trip on the boat.

Oliver Garcia
Conservation Director
September, 2007
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