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STRP’s Toll Free Number in Texas Used in Finding a History Making Kemp’s Ridley Nest!

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project has sponsored a toll-free number for reporting sea turtles, nests, tracks and hatchlings in Texas for six years.  This service proved invaluable on July 26.  Tourists walking on Quintana Beach west of Freeport, Texas, saw 20 to 30 tiny hatchlings scrambling for the water.  They remembered a number seen on beach signs, bookmarks and brochures and called 866-TURTLE-5.  They were able to reach Shane Kassoon of the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the San Bernard Wildlife Refuge not far away.  He rushed to the scene and was able to find the nest where the hatchlings had emerged.  It turned out to be the 196th Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nest for 2009 breaking last year’s record of 195 nests. This is the greatest number of nests since records were began in the early 80s.  The 866 number made a big difference!