World’s Rarest Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Lays Clutch of 80 Eggs in Texas Beach

According to reports from authorities, the Kemp’s Ridley, the rarest sea turtle in the world, laod a clutch of over 80 eggs on a Texas beach before heading back out to sea.

World’s Rarest Sea Turtle

The world’s most endangered sea turtle has deposited eggs for the first time this year on Surfside Beach in Texas.

A Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the most critically endangered species of sea turtle in the world, produced a clutch of over 80 eggs before returning to the water safely, according to a statement posted on social media on Friday by Texas A&M’s Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research.

Although occasionally other species, including Loggerheads, may nest near the shore, the species is the main sea turtle species in Texas.

When a Kemp’s ridley sea turtle laid eggs on Surfside Beach in 2023, the center announced it as the first nest of the critically endangered species’ nesting season.

The group also expressed its gratitude to the caller from the general public who informed the authorized responders.

The mother sea turtle can be seen nesting on the beach before returning to the Gulf of Mexico’s water in the pictures posted by the organization on social media.

The other photos showed the volunteers gathering the eggs for storage.

Nesting Sea Turtle Sightings

The organization also requested that people call the 1-866-TURTLE-5 hotline if they see any sea turtles on the beach, including nesting females, tracks, or sea turtles in general.

The center provided instructions on how to recognize sea turtle tracks on Texas beaches last month during the current nesting season, which lasts from April to July along the upper Texas coast each year.

According to the center, there are typically two sets of tracks: one that travels from the ocean to the dunes and the other that travels from the dunes back to the ocean.

The tracks frequently form a comma, are two feet broad, and have alternate patterns.

Weather affects this because the wind might sweep these tracks away.

In the vicinity of dunes, red reflective lollipop pegs have also been buried in the sand to prevent sea turtle nests from being trampled.

The Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research reports that since 2002, the number of nesting Kemp’s ridley sea turtles has steadily increased along the upper Texas coast.

However, the significant erosion and beach or dune restoration together have had a detrimental effect on breeding places.

Arribada and 1,500 Eggs

According to South Padre Island-based group Sea Turtle, Inc., the first nest of the sea turtle nesting season this year along the Texas coast was discovered on Cameron County Beach last month and held 86 eggs.

The group noted on Tuesday that it had experienced its first arribada, or large-scale nesting event, which included nine nests in one day. This takes the season’s total number of eggs laid to around 1,500, CHRON reported.

Also Read: Seaweed Blob Sargassum Potential Problem for Nesting Sea Turtles in Florida

Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle

The smallest sea turtle in the world, the Kemp’s ridley, is named in honor of Key West, Florida, fisherman Richard M. Kemp, who submitted the specimen for diagnosis in 1906.

Tens of thousands of females used to nest at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico, and there used to be an abundance of Kemp’s ridley in the Gulf of Mexico.

By the middle of the 20th century, the population had plummeted, and by the 1980s, only a few hundred females were nesting.

On nesting beaches along with fisheries management, intensive conservation efforts were carried out.

The greatest threat to Kemp’s ridley sea turtles remains to be bycatch in commercial as well as recreational fishing gear, according to NOAA Fisheries.

Related Article: 75-Pound Endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle Carcass with Whole Ecosystem Beached in Oregon 

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