Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Lepidochelys Kempii Listed as endangered on 12/02/1970 By: Ashley Odierno & Eliza Bancroft
Geographic Location Currently seen in the following areas: • Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia. • Kemp's Ridley sea turtles are found in the coastal waters and bays of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean
Food Source Their diet consists mostly of: • Crabs • Shrimp • Snails • Clams • Jellyfish • Starfish • fish
Physical Description • grow to 27-32 in length • on average weigh 75-100 pounds • dark gray to gray-green carapace (upper shell) • cream to tan plasteron (lower shell) • Dark spotted head
Mating • prefer open ocean & gulf waters with females only coming ashore to lay eggs in beach sand. • Nesting occurs between April and July, with a peak between May and June. • occurs at sea near the nesting area • Females will lay 1-3 clutches (110 eggs) in a nesting season
Threats • Predators include humans (hunting, boat propellers, nets, and refuse), followed by natural predation by shore birds, sharks and other sea animals. • people harvest eggs & kill turtles for meat & leather-like skin.
What’s being done to help • Illegal in Mexico & U.S. to exploit eggs & meat • Mexico is protecting breeding sites, & is conducting a tagging program • Agencies from the U.S. Federal Government, Texas, and the Republic of Mexico have joined together in an attempt to re-establish a nesting beach.
Our plan to help • Start a tagging program in the U.S. similar to the one in Mexico • Since more Kemp’s ridleys nest near the Padre Island National Seashore than anywhere else in Texas, we need a marine reserve in state waters where shrimp boats would not be allowed • Keep beaches & oceans clean
Bibliography • http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/species/ridley/ • http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/pub/SpeciesReport.do?lead=2&listingType=L • http://find.galegroup.com/menu/commonmenu.do?userGroupName=nhais_hmnh