Local News

May 16, 2013 5:30 PM by Meteorologist Matt Terhune

Satellite Transmitter Attached To A Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

PADRE ISLAND- This is the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle that was found on the National Seashore this morning.

Nesting time of the year usually starts mid-April and goes through mid-July, but this year the late cold fronts delayed the turtle's arrival.

The Mommas have been waiting for the water temperatures to warm up and those strong winds to remind them it's time to come onshore.

The chief of the Sea Turtle Sceience and Recovery Division, Donna Shaver says, "Water temperature is very important for the species because they're reptiles, they can't control their body temperatures. So if it was too cool, they may have just held off on nesting."

To keep track of the turtle, first they sand down the shell, next they glue down the satellite transmitter.

Turtle with transmitter

Donna Shaver says, "We want to follow her movements because we're trying to delineate where the turtles go between nesting events in a nesting season because they can nest 2 or 3 times in a season and also we want to know where they go when they're done nesting."

The eggs found are kept in these chests and kept at the right temperature.

Shaver says beachgoers need to be on the lookout for turtles coming ashore. These turtles spend less than an hour on the sand when they come in to nest.

The turtle patrollers that found it just happened to be at the perfect spot at just the right time.

Donna Shaver says, "It's very import that beach goers are very watchful while they're on the beach, drive slowly and watch in your path. These turtle will often times will nest in the ruts of the beach vehicular roadway."

Turtle on beach track

If you happen to spot a nesting turtle or find turtle eggs on the beach call park rangers at the National Seashore.

The number is 361-949-8173 extension 226.

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