Nesting Success of Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, Lepidochelys Kempi, at Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, 1982–2004

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"The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle,Lepidochelys kempi, was on the edge of extinction owing to a combination of intense egg harvesting and incidental capture in commercial fishing trawls. Results from a cooperative conservation strategy initiated in 1978 between Mexico and the United States to protect and restore the Kemp’s ridley turtle at the main nesting beach at Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas, Mexico are assessed. This strategy appears to be working as there are signs that the species is starting to make a recovery. Recovery indicators include: 1) increased numbers of nesting turtles, 2) increased numbers of 100+ turtle nesting aggregations (arribadas), 3) an expanding nesting season now extending from March to August, and 4) significant nighttime nesting since 2003. The population low point at Rancho Nuevo was in 1985 (706 nests) and the population began to significantly increase in 1997 (1,514 nests), growing to over 4,000 nests in 2004. The size and numbers of arribadas have increased each year since 1983 but have yet to exceed the 1,000+ mark; most arribadas are still 200–800+ turtles."



sea turtles, marine ecology, conservation