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Reisverslag Tropical storm blows away nests and plans...
17 juli 2012
Dit reisverslag is ook geplaatst in de wnf community.
Tropical storm blows away nests and plans...
We were all ready to put temperature loggers in sea turtle nests, in order to learn more about nesting heat and sex determination in turtle eggs.
But...(and this is a magic word related to uncertainties!) a persistent low pressure area developed into a tropical storm close to the south coast of the United States, which produced strong south winds and heavy sea in the south coast of western Cuba - exactly the place where San Felipe National Park is located.
As a consequence of the strong winds and waves, navigation was going to be temporally closed, so the two ranger stations of the park were evacuated during the weekend because, otherwise, the rangers would be isolated for days without receiving any additional water and food supplies.
With navigation finally suspended and no ranger station available to support us, our plan had to be cancelled.
Some of the news received from the park rangers gave us the idea that the big waves were washing away the nesting beaches. Just before leaving the cays, they checked out our temperature experiment and found one of the loggers already out of the sand. At least in this particular spot of the beach, in just a few hours, more than 50 cm of sand was washed out.
Fortunately for our experiment, we took measures to properly secure the temperature loggers with long ropes strongly tied to trees back in the beach, out of the reach of the waves. But as the nesting season has already started, probably many of the nests laid so far, will be lost this year. That is why we will be starting a protocol to relocate turtle nests that are prone to be flooded during storms. No effort is worthless to help marine turtles survive.
I can’t wait to go to San Felipe National Park to see what happened and to help reinstalling our monitoring programme. But now we need to re-schedule everything. Most of the bureaucratic preparation initiated 45 days before the departure to get the due permits to visit the park and carry out our work has now to be restarted. So, patience is another magic word here.
In the mean time, I am back to our daily struggle of meetings, telephone calls, visits to partners, logistic arrangements and even prays to make things happen: a sometimes boring, frustrating and even ireful task, but that has to be done if firm steps to our conservation goals are to be taken.