Hurricane Pauline Devastates Mexican Sea Turtle Research Centre


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On October 9, Hurricane Pauline raged through parts of Mexico, imposing severe damage wherever she went. One area that was hit hard was Mazunte, Oaxaca. There Pauline severely damaged the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga (CMT), taking off the roofs of buildings and destroying equipment and furniture. Fortunately, all of the biologists working there are safe, but some of them lost their homes and belongings.

On October 23, Dr. Reni Marquez Millan posted an update on the aftermath of Hurricane Pauline. He pointed out that cash donations are probably the most effective way to help, since they will need to buy a lot of building materials for reconstruction, and it would be easier to purchase locally.

Unfortunately, all of their PCs were damaged and have been sent to Mexico City to attempt to recover the data from the hard disks. A donation of a PC or two would be greatly appreciated.

On the beach, the damage is estimated at about 22%, affecting the last three arribadas. Hatchlings from last August's arribada have just broken out of the nests, so the priority right now is to clear the beach of the obstructions left behind by Pauline. They are also expecting another arribada any day now, increasing the urgency.

Dr. Marquez also passed along some good news concerning the turtles that had been in the tanks at the CMT. There was minimum damage in the holding area, but they released the hatchlings to avoid mortality. The other turtles are fine and they have managed to restore pumping to nearly normal. They estimate six months work to restore the centre.

Turtle Trax urges you to help repair the damage by sending a donation. Ocean Planet Research has kindly offered to accept your donations and will issue tax receipts to US citizens. Send your contribution to:

Ocean Planet Research, Inc.
8911 Pine Shores Drive
Humble, TX 77346

For an idea of just how badly the CMT was damaged, take a look at the CMT's Hurricane Pauline page.

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Last modified 97/12/06
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