Last week, a nest of endangered sea turtle eggs was found on the beach at Galveston Island State Park – the first nest found in the park in more than a decade.
The nest contained 107 eggs born to Kemp’s Ridley tortoise, one of the world’s most endangered sea turtles.
According to Christopher Marshall, this was the first nest found in Galveston Island State Park since 2012, professor of Marine Biology at Texas A&M and director of the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research.
Marshall said that the nest was discovered and brought to a nesting site on the Padre Island National Seashore.
“All eggs are important,” said Marshall. “Most of Kemp’s Ridley breeding grounds have been lost due to hurricanes, high tides and predators, which is why it is important to relocate these nests to a place where they have the best chance of surviving into adulthood.”
According to the NOAA Fisheries, this species was almost extinct in the 1980s until significant conservation efforts were made on nesting beaches and fishery management. Bycatch – the deliberate catch of unimportant species while fishing – continues to be a considerable threat to Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles.
Marshall said the regular breeding season for Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle begins between April 1 and July 15. He urged anyone finding a nest to stay at least 60 meters and call the Sea Turtle telephone number 1-866-TURTLE-5.