GALVESTON, Texas — It was an "egg-citing" morning for a group of Aggies in Galveston who found a nest of Kemp's Ridley sea turtle eggs.
It's the first time in a decade that a sea turtle nest has been found at the park, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. They say It's only the third one found at the park since the Turtle Patrol began keeping records.
“The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle is one of the most endangered sea turtle species in the world so every egg matters,” said Dr. Christopher Marshall, Professor of Marine Biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston and Director for the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research. “A lot of nesting habitat for the Kemp’s Ridley has been lost to storms, high tide and predation, which is why it is important to transport these nests to an environment where they have the best chance for survival into adulthood.”
He said the Kemp’s Ridley turtles were almost lost in the 1980s. If a nest were to be left on the beach, the eggs would have about a 45% chance of survival. In the incubation facility, survival rates can be up to 95%.
The nest found Thursday contained 107 eggs.
The Turtle Patrol and the Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research will work together to get them safely to the incubation facility at Padre Island National Seashore.
The typical nesting season for the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle is from April 1 to July 15.
If anyone finds a nest, they should call the Sea Turtle hotline at 1-866-TURTLE-5 and stay at least 60 feet away from the turtle or nest.
Friday on KHOU 11 Morning News, Meteorologist Kim Castro will report live from Galveston on the challenges facing sea turtles in the Gulf because of climate change.