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The Kemp's ridley sea turtle head start research project : an annual report for fiscal year 1986
  • Published Date:
    1987
Filetype[PDF - 3.41 MB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    Southeast Fisheries Center (U.S.), Galveston Laboratory, ; Southeast Fisheries Center (U.S.) ;
  • Series:
    NOAA technical memorandum NMFS-SEFC ; 192
  • Document Type:
  • Description:
    "Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi), the mst endangered of the sea turtles, is facing extinction. In 1986, fewer than 600 nested at the principal nesting beach near the village of Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas state, Mexico, bordering the western Gulf of Mexico (Jack Woody, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, NM, personal communication, September 1986). In June 1947, as many as 40,000 nested there in a single day (Hildebrand 1963). Since 1978, an international program has been aimed at restoring the Kemp's ridley sea turtle population (Klima and McVey 1981). Among its goals is head starting the turtles to establish a new nesting colony at the Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, TX. Head starting has several phases, including incubating, "imprinting" and hatching the eggs, "imprinting" the hatchlings, rearing the hatchlings in captivity for one year or less, and tagging and releasing the turtles into the wild (Klima and McVey 1981: Mrosovsky 1983: Caillouet 19B4: Fontaine et al. 1985). Head starting increases survival during the critical first year of life. The working hypothesis of the Kemp's ridley head start research project is that eggs and hatchlings become imprinted to their natal surroundings in such a way that the adults return to copulate and nest at the same location (Owens, Grassman and Hendrickson 1982). Each year, biologists of the Instituto Nacional de la pesca (INP) of Mexico, the U.S. Fish and wildlife Service (FWS), and Gladys Porter Zoo collect eggs in plastic bags as females lay them at Rancho Nuevo, and transfer them to polystyrene foam boxes containing sand from the Padre Island beach. The boxed eggs are transferred by aircraft to the National Park Service's (NPS) Padre Island National Seashore. There they are incubated in a hatchery under the surveillance of NPS personnel. Upon emergence, hatchlings are taken to the Padre Island beach and allowed to crawl down it into the surf where they are scooped up in dip nets and placed in boxes. Hatchlings are then transferred to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Fisheries Center (SEFC), Galveston Laboratory in Galveston, TX. After captive-rearing for 1 year or less, Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi), the most endangered of the sea turtles, is facing extinction. In 1986, fewer than 600 nested at the principal nesting beach near the village of Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas state, Mexico, bordering the western Gulf of Mexico (Jack Woody, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, NM, personal communication, September 1986). In June 1947, as many as 40,000 nested there in a single day (Hildebrand 1963). Since 1978, an international program has been aimed at restoring the Kemp's ridley sea turtle population (Klima and McVey 1981). Among its goals is head starting the turtles to establish a new nesting colony at the Padre Island National Seashore near Corpus Christi, TX. Head starting has several phases, including incubating, "imprinting" and hatching the eggs, "imprinting" the hatchlings, rearing the hatchlings in captivity for one year or less, and tagging and releasing the turtles into the wild (Klima and McVey 1981: Mrosovsky 1983: Caillouet 1984: Fontaine et al. 1985). Head starting increases survival during the critical first year of life. The working hypothesis of the Kemp's ridley head start research project is that eggs and hatchlings become imprinted to their natal surroundings in such a way that the adults return to copulate and nest at the same location (Owens, Grassman and Hendrickson 1982). Each year, biologists of the Instituto Nacional de la pesca (INP) of Mexico, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and Gladys Porter Zoo collect eggs in plastic bags as females lay them at Rancho Nuevo, and transfer them to polystyrene foam boxes containing sand from the Padre Island beach. The boxed eggs are transferred by aircraft to the National Park Service's (NPS) Padre Island National Seashore. There they are incubated in a hatchery under the surveillance of NPS personnel. Upon emergence, hatchlings are taken to the Padre Island beach and allowed to crawl down it into the surf where they are scooped up in dip nets and placed in boxes. Hatchlings are then transferred to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), Southeast Fisheries Center (SEFC), Galveston Laboratory in Galveston, TX. After captive-rearing for 1 year or less, survivors in good health and condition are tagged and released into the Gulf of Mexico"--Introduction.

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