Thursday, August 13, 2015

CA18- Bahía de Jiquilisco, ICAPO

Spending time on La Pirraya with ICAPO does not get old.  
There is always work to do, and the longer I stay the more useful I become as I learn more about what it takes to protect the Hawksbill sea turtle.

Neftalí, Sofi and I went to San Fransisco island, where the other ICAPO vivero is located.  This is closer to the mouth of the sea, and at this vivero they allow some sea turtles to lay their eggs naturally so they can compare data from natural nests versus transplants. Transplants have been proven to be have a higher success rate than natural.  They also do transplants but the location of this vivero allows them to mark the natural nests, and everyone on the island knows this means that the eggs are off limits.

This nest is about to hatch.

This is what sea turtles look like when they are first born.

We went to an island close by to collect data for a nest that was discovered too late to safely transplant.  It is important to keep the location a secret so no one tries to dig up the eggs.  Data needs to be gathered regarding its location (distance from the water level, types of plants, amount of sunlight, etc.).  

An ICAPO billboard got a little mangled (it is free advertising at least).

We were home in time for lunch.

When Don Olvidio found out that I went on a hike yesterday he wanted to take me on a better hike, on a nearby island.

Good thing Neftalí doesn't mind taxing us around!

Don Olvidio taught us which trees have fresh water to drink.

And how to find good coconuts.

The last thing we did was check out a natural nest site that had recently hatched so it could be analyzed, and then head back to the vivero to check some more data.  
Out of the 96 eggs from today's clutch, only 28 were alive.  

Emilio, who lives on the vivero part time, climbed up a coconut tree (I was not about to tell him that I already ate coconuts today).  His trick is to not climb with a machete (in case he falls).  Instead he has his machete attached to a rope and hoists it up after he is secure in the tree. Then he uses the rope to lower down the coconuts.  Salvadoreños know their stuff.  Emilio taught himself how to climb a palm tree when he was 11, and does not share this talent with everyone...

I ate two more coconuts with an exocarp crafted spoon.
There is nothing better than fresh coconut, on an island, in the middle of an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve...

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