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Record Number of Sea Turtles Nest On Matagorda Island
Southwest Region, September 5, 2007
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2007 was the most successful year yet for the Matagorda Island NWR Sea Turtle Program.  The sea turtle program was implemented in 2003 when it was suggested that Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, an endangered species, may have been nesting on the island. The first reported nesting did not occur until 2005; however, since then, the number of nests has grown, as has the volunteer effort. Patrollers included volunteers, members of the Mid-coast Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, and Refuge personnel.  Eight Kemps ridley nests were detected on Matagorda Island during the 2007 nesting season, doubling the 2006 record of four nests. A total of 807 eggs were counted, excavated and transported to the incubation facility at the Padre Island National Seashore, where they were hatched.  Six of the nests yeilded high hatchling success rates with percentages in the 90's.  One nest was left in situ and yielded no hatchlings. 

The season began with training to educate patrol members in turtle stranding and first responder techniques. The first patrol launched April 2nd and continued through July 12th 4032 volunteer hours were logged throughout the entire season.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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