Hard Work Pays off for the Kemp’s Ridley

Four newly hatched Kemp's ridley sea turtles crawl on the beaches of Padre Island National Seashore as they are released into the wild. NPS Photo.

Four newly hatched Kemp’s ridley sea turtles crawl on the beaches of Padre Island National Seashore as they are released into the wild.
NPS Photo.

This is Passport to Texas

Since 1970 Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles have been on the endangered species list. The NPS, TPW and other partners developed a plan to assist their recovery, including the creation of a secondary nesting site [the primary being in Mexico] at the Padre Island National Seashore [PINS].

The numbers are moving in the right direction, but we’re not up to the milestones that are outlined in the recovery plan to even down list the species to threatened, much less to get it off the list entirely.

Dr. Donna Shaver oversees sea turtle science and recovery at Padre Island National Seashore. Dr. Shaver says this year’s annual survey identified 352 nests—from Galveston down to Mexico.

We’ve had more found at PINS and more found in the state of Texas this year than in the last two years combined. So, we’re very excited about it.

Decades of conservation are paying off, or are we just getting better at finding sea the turtle nests?

We do think that we’re seeing an actual significant increase compared to when I started and only one nest would be found every two or three years. And now, here to find more than 300 in Texas during a year, is a big accomplishment for conservation and recovery of the species.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series, and funds diverse conservation projects throughout Texas.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

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