High hopes for a great nesting season in Texas!

The greatest number of endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtles nesting on one day in Texas was recorded Wednesday, April 26. Dr. Donna Shaver, Chief of the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Division of the National Park Service at the Padre Island National Seashore announced Wednesday evening that the first 10 Kemp’s ridley nests located on the Texas coast during 2006 had been found. Nine were located at Padre Island National Seashore and one on Matagorda Island. Turtles were present at six of the sites. One of the nesters at the National Seashore was a 1987 year class head-start that has nested there before. The others were all wild turtles that had not been documented before. Two nests at the National Seashore were only 50 yards apart.

“Visitors to north Texas coastal beaches should be watching for sea turtles coming out of the water to nest,” according to Carole Allen, Gulf Office Director of Sea Turtle Restoration Project and HEART (Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Turtles). “Seven nested in the Galveston County area last year, and we expect more this year. Anyone spotting a nesting sea turtle should immediately call 1-866-TURTLE-5 to contact a federal or state authority and get information.”

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project has sponsored the toll free turtle information line for the past three years giving the public a quick way to report endangered sea turtles on the beaches.