Sea turtle nesting begins along Texas coast
Apr 2, 2021

Sea turtle nesting season has begun along the Texas coast. Photo courtesy National Park Service


Keep an eye out the next time you head to the Texas coast – sea turtle nesting season is beginning.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urges anyone who spots one of the endangered turtles to report the nest by calling 1-866-TURTLES.
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, which is the most critically endangered sea turtle in the world, along with threatened loggerhead and green sea turtles, all nest on Texas beaches between April and September.
“We also ask that visitors drive slowly and carefully on beaches so that vehicles do not inadvertently collide with nesting turtles or emerging hatchlings,” said Mary Kay Skoruppa, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sea Turtle Coordinator for Texas. “By working together, we can help ensure these species continue to find safe nesting conditions on the Texas coast now and into the future.”
Biologists and volunteers will patrol Texas beaches from April through July. The service, along with the National Park Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M University at Galveston, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Sea Turtle Inc. in South Padre Island, and Turtle Island Restoration Network coordinate a response when a nesting sea turtle or nest is found.
If you find a nesting sea turtle, don’t disturb it. After the female digs its nest in the sand to lay her eggs, she must not be kept from returning to the surf.
This year marks 43 years of bi-national Kemp’s ridley sea turtle conservation. In 2020, 262 Kemp’s ridley nests were found in Texas. The largest number recorded in Texas was 2017, when 353 nests were documented.
But the turtles faced a challenge in February, when a rare winter storm caused a mass “cold stunning” event along the coast. When temperatures drop below the mid-50s, sea turtles become lethargic and can’t come to the surface to breathe. Thousands of turtles were pulled from waters so they could warm up for several days before they were released to the wild.

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