Volunteers Help Find Sea Turtle Nests On Texas Coast

People on turtle patrol have counted dozens of Kemp's ridley sea turtle nests on Padre Island National Seashore in South Texas.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports as of Wednesday, 91 Kemp's ridley nests were found in Texas this year. That includes 41 at the seashore where efforts continue to establish a nesting colony for the endangered turtles.

Donna Shaver with the National Park Service says crews on Tuesday attached a transmitter to the shell of one of the rare reptiles. It's the seventh satellite transmitter attached to a Kemp's ridley this nesting season, which began in March.

Shaver says three additional transmitters will be fixed to turtles this season.

Nesting could continue through mid-July. When early-season eggs begin to hatch, Shaver will announce dates for the baby-turtle releases, which are open to the public. The first will likely occur in mid-June, she said.

Experts say 159 nests were found on Texas beaches last year, mostly along the national seashore.

Before the 2010 BP oil spill, nesting numbers had been increasing steadily since its lowest point in 1985, when only 702 nests were recorded, representing about 300 nesting females. Scientists are watching this year's nesting numbers closely to see whether the trend continues.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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