Network for Endangered Sea Turtles 24 HR. HOTLINE 252-441-8622

One of the rarest sea turtle’s came onto our beach to lay her nest today.  The Kemp’s Ridley turtle is the smallest of all the sea turtles.  Weighing in around 80 to 100 pounds.  It is also the most critically endangered of the sea turtle family.  Their biggest threat is from loss of nesting habitat and accidental capture in fishing nets, particularly shrimp trawlers.  The Kemp’s Ridley has a rounded shell (carapace) and a triangular head with a bit of a beak.  Their favorite food is crabs.

Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle

The most interesting feature about the Kemp’s Ridley is they are the only sea turtle that nests during daylight hours.  This Kemp’s sea turtle came onto the beach around 10:00 this morning.  Luckily one of our wonderful deputies saw her on the beach and stayed to help protect her while she nested.  She will lay about 100 eggs.

Our wonderful N.E.S.T. volunteers Lisa, Doug, Dolly, Tina and Andy raced to the beach to see this rare sighting.  They collected data on her track width and the depth of her nest.  Below is a picture of her tracks leading back into the ocean.

Outgoing crawl track for a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle

Once data was collected, a protective barrier was put up to keep the nest site safe while the eggs develop deep under the sand.  A DNA egg is collected so we can learn more about this rare sea turtle’s migratory patterns and nesting statistics.  The more information we gather and share with other sea turtle groups, the more we can help preserve their environment so they can thrive in the future.

  • nest number: 32
  • town: Swan
  • date eggs laid: 07/18/2022
  • actual emergence date: none
  • total eggs: 124

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