Oct 16, 2020

Progress Report - October 2020

Burying an olive ridley nest, Hawaii Hatchery
Burying an olive ridley nest, Hawaii Hatchery

Dear friends of the Parlama,

 

Greetings from Guatemala where we continue dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. Like other places in the world, the infection rate has dropped and the government has relaxed restrictions which is nice, but we are all now nervously waiting for a second wave. Masks are still mandatory, and large gatherings are prohibited. The economy is not doing well. It’s sad to see single mothers with children waving white flags on the sides of the roads, asking for food.  In such an environment, it makes ARCAS’s work saving the wildlife of Guatemala even more challenging than usual.     

 

We are in the middle of the sea turtle nesting season, and to date have collected just over 4,000 olive ridley sea turtle eggs which is low for us. We have also received several stranded, dead sea turtles, and two injured turtles which have recuperated and returned to the ocean. 2020 has been a difficult year for us. The beach was closed for much of July – September, and we couldn’t carry out our egg collection patrols. Also, the Coronavirus pandemic closed down our volunteer and intern program which provides much-needed support to our egg and data-collecting activities.

 

We just launched a campaign to raise funds to make a push to fill the Hawaii Hatchery before the end of the season in December, so if you can help us, please make a donation following this link  https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/rescue-30-000-sea-turtles-in-guatemala/ Also, if you could share this link with friends and family, we’d appreciate it.

 

Now that we are a 501c3 non-profit organization in the US, we have joined AmazonSmile. If you could help us by choosing ARCAS as your charity, we would appreciate it. Same products, same prices, same service. AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to ARCAS at no extra cost to you.

 

Thanks very much for your generous support for our sea turtle conservation efforts, especially in these times of crisis.   Please let me know if you have any questions, and please come and visit us (when the pandemic is over of course).  And please check with us if you want to come to the Hawaii Park to release hatchlings. Our first nests hatched out last week and we should have hatchlings to be released from now until the end of January, but it’s always best to check with the staff at the Park first.

 

Thanks,

 

Colum

 

 

Estimad@s amigos de la Parlama,

 

Saludos desde Guatemala donde seguimos lidiando con la pandemia de Coronavirus. Al igual que en otros lugares del mundo, la tasa de infección ha disminuido y el gobierno ha relajado las restricciones, lo cual es bueno, pero ahora todos estamos esperando nerviosamente una segunda ola. Las máscaras siguen siendo obligatorias y están prohibidas las grandes reuniones. La economía no va bien. Es triste ver a madres solteras con niños ondeando banderas blancas a los lados de las carreteras, pidiendo comida. En tal entorno, hace que el trabajo de ARCAS para salvar la vida silvestre de Guatemala sea aún más desafiante de lo habitual.

 

Estamos en la mitad de la temporada de anidación de tortugas marinas, y hasta la fecha hemos recolectado poco más de 4,000 huevos de tortuga golfina, lo cual es bajo para nosotros. También hemos recibido varias tortugas marinas varadas y muertas y dos tortugas heridas que se han recuperado y regresado al océano. 2020 ha sido un año difícil para nosotros. La playa estuvo cerrada durante gran parte de julio a septiembre, y no pudimos realizar nuestras patrullas de recolección de huevos. Además, la pandemia de Coronavirus cerró nuestro programa de voluntarios y pasantes que brinda el apoyo muy necesario para nuestras actividades de recolección de datos y huevos.

 

Acabamos de lanzar una campaña para recaudar fondos para hacer un esfuerzo para llenar el Tortugario Hawaii antes del final de la temporada en diciembre, así que si puede ayudarnos, haga una donación siguiendo este enlace https://www.globalgiving.org/ dy / v2 / pe / project-edit / edit-page-1.html? project.projId = 42261 Además, si pudiera compartir este enlace con amigos y familiares, se lo agradeceríamos.

 

Ahora que somos una organización sin fines de lucro 501c3 en los EE. UU., Nos hemos unido a AmazonSmile. Si pudiera ayudarnos eligiendo ARCAS como su organización benéfica, se lo agradeceríamos. Mismos productos, mismos precios, mismo servicio. AmazonSmile dona el 0.5% del precio de las compras elegibles a ARCAS sin costo adicional para usted.

 

Muchas gracias por su generoso apoyo a nuestros esfuerzos de conservación de las tortugas marinas, especialmente en estos tiempos de crisis. Por favor, avíseme si tiene alguna pregunta y venga a visitarnos (cuando la pandemia termine, por supuesto). Y por favor consulte con nosotros si quiere venir al Hawaii Park para liberar crías. Nuestros primeros nidos eclosionaron la semana pasada y deberíamos tener crías para ser liberadas desde ahora hasta finales de enero, pero siempre es mejor consultar primero con el personal del parque.

 

Gracias,

 

Colum

Olive ridley hatchling
Olive ridley hatchling
ARCAS and CONAP staff with facemasks
ARCAS and CONAP staff with facemasks
Stranded olive ridley sea turtle
Stranded olive ridley sea turtle
Olive ridley hatchling, Foto: JJUbico
Olive ridley hatchling, Foto: JJUbico

Links:

Jul 27, 2020

Progress Report, July 23, 2020

...Margay after.
...Margay after.

Greetings from Guatemala where the Coronavirus pandemic continues, though it seems to be “flattening” out.  The government is doing fairly well in containing the virus and currently we have 41,135 cases with 1,573 fatalities.  Masks are mandatory, and unessential travel and large gatherings are prohibited.  People are getting sick of the lockdown and the economy is not doing well, but most people realize that this is necessary to beat the virus.  Nonetheless, it’s disturbing to see single mothers with children waving white flags on the sides of the roads, asking for food.  In such an environment, it makes ARCAS’s work saving the wildlife of Guatemala even more challenging than usual.     

 

The wildlife of Guatemala and the poachers and traffickers that prey on them don’t pay attention to pandemics, and we continue to receive a steady stream of confiscated animals in Peten, Guatemala City and at our project in Hawaii.  During this first half of 2020, we have received over 200 confiscated wild animals.  I attach some fotos of the animals and their stores. 

 

The pandemic has been difficult for all of us, but it has been especially difficult for Fernando, Alejandro, Anna and the rest of the staff of the rescue center in Peten who, without the help of volunteers and interns, have been working long hours to keep the 500+ animals at the center healthy and on the road to rehabilitation and release.  Your generous donation has helped us keep the rescue center running by purchasing food and veterinary medicines for the animals. 

 

On July 10th we initiated out sea turtle conservation season at the Hawaii Park, and Sofia, Mynor and the rest of the staff there is busy burying eggs in the hatcheries.  Despite having no volunteers, and a reduced budget, and despite the lockdown, we are hoping that we can beat last year’s record of number of eggs rescued and incubated at the Hawaii Hatchery. 

 

Our volunteer and vet training courses remain closed and most of our institutional donors have postponed planned giving.   We are in crisis mode, looking for alternative sources of income to pay staff and feed animals.  We have been focusing our efforts on on-line fundraising, especially GlobalGiving, and this has helped to fill in some of the gaps.  In addition to donating directly to our projects, GlobalGiving allows our supporters and ex-volunteers to create their own fundraising pages to invite their networks to support ARCAS’s wildlife conservation efforts, so if you can help in this way, let us know.  Celebrate your birthday, run a race, or start an employee competition — there are many ways you can help us through this crisis!

 

Now that we are a 501c3 non-profit organization in the US, we have joined AmazonSmile.  If you could help us by choosing ARCAS as your charity, we would appreciate it. Same products, same prices, same service.  AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to ARCAS at no extra cost to you. 

 

Also, you can help by becoming an ARCAS monthly donor.  You can do this via GlobalGiving, or through our Paypal account.  Recurring donors – even for small donations – are especially helpful as these are resources that we can count on from month-to-month to help us continue our work.   

 

Thanks very much for your support for our wildlife conservation activities in Guatemala, especially in these times of crisis.  Your donation helps us continue our efforts to save the wild ones of the earth.  Please let me know if you have any questions, and please come and visit us (when the pandemic is over of course). 

Hawaii meeting with all the precautions
Hawaii meeting with all the precautions
Last volunteers to leave during the pandemic
Last volunteers to leave during the pandemic
Armadillo ready for release
Armadillo ready for release
Torquise browed motmot
Torquise browed motmot

Links:

Jun 16, 2020

Season Start 2020 Hawaii Park, Guatemala

Dear Friends of ARCAS, 

Next month, July 6th, we will start the Turtle nesting season for 2020. This year it will be a little bit different from the past years. Guatemala is still in Lockdown, so travel across municipal lines is still limited. The inauguration for 2020 will be a small event with social distancing and we will follow all required restrictions. We will launch a GlobalGiving campaign to support our project. You will have for example the option to sponsor a nest for 25$ for about 93 Turtle Eggs or for only 10$ you can sponsor a local guide to do nocturnal beach patrols.

Also because of the worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemia we are missing our Volunteers, we shifted our focus on working together with local communities. The community members are highly affected by the COVID-19, their income was mainly from tourists. There is zero Tourism since 3 months and we don’t have any information for how much longer this situation will last. We have to contribute to the conservation of these endangered species while also contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of low-income local residents. This year the nests might be in more danger because people have lost their jobs and see the sale of turtle eggs still as a lucrative income.

We will be participating in the International Coastal Clean Up (Ocean Conservancy) on beach clean ups and working on solid waste recycling with local communities.

 

In 2019 ARCAS rescued and incubated 41857 olive Ridley Sea Turtle eggsand released 39,517 hatchlings, which represents nearly a 96% hatching success rate. We plan to to even rescue and release more this year! Unfortunately, we received no leatherback eggs, nor have we heard of any nests laid on the entire Guatemala Pacific coast during the November – January nesting season. This year seems everything is different, hopefully the leatherbacks return back this season to lay their eggs on the beach.

 

We hopefully can count again on the support of all the amazing and generous donors through GlobalGiving.

Many thanks to our staff, collaborators and volunteers who have spent many nights under wind and rain patrolling the beaches and burying nest.

 
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