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Turtle nesting season is underway here in the Coastal Bend

Turtle nesting season is underway, ways to keep the aquatic animal safe
Posted at 6:27 PM, Apr 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-03 19:40:37-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For more than a million years, sea turtle nesting has happened. Spring is the time of year when a female turtle will crawl onto the beach to find a spot to lay eggs.

Many beachgoers at Padre Island National Seashore said they don’t know what to do if they ever experience a turtle nesting.

Kelly Taylor, who works for the Padre Island National Seashore, said nesting is something that happens every year from all species of sea turtles.

"It (nesting) is basically a time when the momma turtles come up and they lay their eggs on the beach,"S Taylor said.

Workers and biologists who works for the park said they hope during this time, that they will be able to detect and protect nesting sea turtles.

“We have five species of turtles that nest here at Padre Island National Seashore and in the Gulf region,"” Taylor said. "End of March early April kicks off the nesting season for sea turtles in South Texas.

Taylor said Kemp’s ridleys turtles are the only sea turtles nesting primarily during the day. Biologist believed this may be a strategy to make it harder for nocturnal predators like raccoons to follow their tracks or scent and find their eggs.

Officials like Taylor said beachgoers should be careful while walking along the beach, and to look for a nesting turtle so you don’t surprise them.

“What we’re asking people to do is not approach the turtle,” she said. “Stay far away from the turtle, let her get up onto the beach, let her nest and then when she is on her way back to the ocean that’s when you want to take the opportunity to grab some photos without approaching her.”

Officials said if you see a turtle laying eggs, they recommend marking a big circle around the location, so it’s easier to find. They said when you have done this, you should call 1-(866) 887-8535.

If you harm a sea turtle you could be charged with felony and you could be fined up to $20,000.

If you are interested to learn about all of the species of sea turtles, click here.

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