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NPS Receives Award During Record Breaking Kemp’s Ridley Turtle Nesting Year

Padre Island National Seashore

National Park News

On May 15, 2008, NOAA – Fisheries presented a “Special Recognition Award” to Padre Island National Seashore at the annual “Canada/Mexico/United States Trilateral Committee for Wildlife and Ecosystem Conservation and Management” in Veracruz, Mexico.  The award reads “Presented to Padre Island National Seashore, National Park Service…In recognition of your dedicated and sustained efforts to recover the Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, 2008”.  During the presentation, Rebecca Lent, Director, OIA – Fisheries for NOAA commented that “we couldn’t do it without our sister agency, the National Park Service…” and then went on to read the award.  Karen Taylor-Goodrich, NPS Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection, accepted the award on behalf of Padre Island National Seashore.
National Seashore employees and volunteers working with this project were in the midst of a record breaking year for nesting by endangered Kemp’s ridley turtles on the Texas coast.  This was the fifth consecutive year that a record number of Kemp’s ridley nests were documented since record keeping began in Texas during the late 1970s.  A bi-national, multi-agency effort has been ongoing since 1978 to help the recover the population.  Part of this effort is a project to re-establish nesting at Padre Island National Seashore to form a secondary nesting colony as a safeguard for the species which nests primarily in Mexico.  An average of 55% of the Kemp’s ridley nests found in the U.S. each year are located at the National Seashore, making it the most important nesting beach for this species in the U.S.  During 2008, 195 Kemp’s ridley nests were found in Texas, up from only 19 nests documented in 2003.  From nests incubated at the National Seashore this year, over 11,700 hatchlings were released and successfully entered the surf.    


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