Sunday, September 19, 2010

Interphase, what interphase?

We may have suffered the loss of many volunteers last week, but that doesn’t mean that work stops at Jalova! With the onset of daily excavations and the need for track counts/ nest checks to be performed every morning we haven’t got chance to stop!
Luckily GVI Costa Rica has the presence of 2 week volunteer Yu Li Khoe to help us out at this time. Last night she ventured out on a night walk with staff members Rich Phillips and Jon Groom (see team photo below) and what greeted them was a surprise to say the least!

The team set off to mark a nest at the further end of the study site past mile 16. However on their walk there they abruptly stopped upon the appearance of a turtle in the wet sand area below the high tide line. The guys stood still to try and let the turtle past without disturbing it. But after being stationary for around 2 minutes Jon tried to tell everyone that he thought something was up. There was a lot of disturbance in the sand and we hadn’t seen the Green move.
Shining his red light on the area Jon revealed a turtle that had been attacked by a jaguar just moments before. The wound on the neck was as fresh as possible with the blood still running. The team immediately felt very conscious that they were being watched by the feline that inflicted the damage and decided that it would be best to continue on their survey in case the jag wanted to return.
Staff members Marta and Ian conducted the nest check the following morning and reported that the turtle was still in the same position. However the jaguar had returned and placed tracks in the footprints that the night walk team had left!
The rest of the night walk went without a hitch. The team marked a nest down at 15 6/8 and managed to tag 2 further turtles. Whilst waiting for a turtle to finish laying, they also noted another Green that had tags from a previous trip to the beach. One that Molly had tagged on 24th August.