Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
South Texas Sea Turtle Nesting Project - August 2008 - Laguna Atascosa NWR
Southwest Region, August 31, 2008
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USFWS, 08/2008, South Padre Island, Laguna Atascosa NWR, Green Sea Turtle Hatchling.
USFWS, 08/2008, South Padre Island, Laguna Atascosa NWR, Green Sea Turtle Hatchling. - Photo Credit: n/a

Sea Turtle Inc. partners with Laguna Atascosa and Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuges to conduct the South Texas Sea Turtle Nesting Project each summer. Through this project, interns, volunteers, and staff search for and protect nesting Kemp’s ridley and other sea turtles and their nests on South Padre Island and Boca Chica beaches in southernmost Texas.

Five sea turtle nests, including four Kemp’s ridley and one green sea turtle nest, hatched in August. The four Kemp’s ridley nests produced a total of 328 hatchlings, and the one green nest produced 95 hatchlings. No public releases were held in August.

This has proven to be a record year for Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nesting, with record numbers of nests found in the project area and in Texas. A total of 53 sea turtle nests were documented through this project this year, more than doubling the previous project record of 23 sea turtle nests found in this same area in 2007. These 53 nests include 52 Kemp’s ridley nests and one green sea turtle nest. On Boca Chica a total of 12 sea turtle nests, all of them Kemp’s ridley, have been documented. This total of 12 nests exceeded the previous record of seven nests found on Boca Chica in 2006. On South Padre Island, a total of 41 sea turtle nests, including 40 Kemp’s ridley and one green have been documented. The green nest is only the second green nest documented on South Padre Island since monitoring began. These 53 nests included 5,157 eggs that resulted in 4,512 hatchlings released, for an overall hatch rate of 87.49%. A total of 18 public releases, attended by at least 4,120 visitors, were held. Two mortalities of adult female Kemp’s ridleys occurred during nesting attempts this year, both on South Padre Island. These were the first such mortalities documented since monitoring began.

Contact Info: Linda Miller, (760) 326-3853 ext. 22 , linda_l_miller@fws.gov
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