By JOE R. BOWLING, JR.
As a parade to mark the beginning of the Kemp’s ridley Seas Turtle nesting season was going on, the first turtle made it’s way on shore to lay her eggs. By the end of the weekend three more turtles had also came ashore and more are expected early this week.
“The windy conditions made this for a perfect weekend,” said Sea Turtles Inc. Curator Jeff George, “and we are very excited to see this time of year and have big expectations.”
The first nest was discovered by a Cameron County Constable at Isla Blanca Park around 9:30 a.m. in the morning. That nest produced 91 eggs which were transported to Andie Bowie Park and placed in incubation.
“It is our job to preserve the nest first,” said George, “and then we make sure that the eggs are hatched so that we can return the new turtles to the sea.”
The second nest was discovered within the hour about eight miles north of the first. Two additional nest were later found with eggs totaling well over 300.
“Last year we had a hatch rate of around 91 percent,” said George, “so around June 5 or 6 we should see quite a few hatchlings from these four nests.”
Last year Sea Turtles Inc. was kept very busy and this year they are expecting at least 50 new nests during the season.
“We have people out watching for nest every day,” said George, “and we are hoping that people on the beaches help us watch too. These turtles are the only species that nest during the day and it is important that people get with us if they see a turtle.”
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Apr. 18 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.