This year’s Kemp’s ridley nesting season begins with both anticipation and anxiety. The number of nests has been trending steadily upward in recent years, but the full, long-as well as short- range impact of the BP oil spill is still unknown.

The first Kemp’s ridley sea turtle of 2011 came ashore and laid 88 eggs approximately 8.5 miles south of NPS on April 7. (The only recorded earlier nesting occurred on April 5, 2004.) NPS scientists and staff were pleasantly surprised by this early nesting, and hope it portends a good season ahead. The story may be found at: http://www.caller.com/news/2011/apr/02/be-aware-turtles-are-coming-to-nest/?print=2

Scientists and volunteers equipped this early nester with a transmitter, which will allow them to follow her track as she moves about the Gulf of Mexico. To see turtle scientists and volunteers applying the transmitter, click on: http://www.kiiitv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14409409  

At last sighting, this early nester was headed north, which as everyone knows, is the direction of the BP oil spill. To track her movement, and that of others which will be equipped with transmitters when they come to nest, click on: http://www.seaturtle.org/tracking/index.shtml?tag_id=101136  

Submitted by Venice Scheurich and Mina Williams, April 13, 2011


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