First Kemp’s Ridley Nest of the Season Found April 24th


First nesting mama 2015, joey bauerWEB

The first nesting Kemp’s ridley sea turtle for 2015. She made her nest on the beach right in South Padre Island city limits. Joey Bauer/Sea Turtle, Inc. photo.

The first Kemp’s ridley nest of the Texas season was discovered Friday, April 24, around 9:45 a.m. One hundred eggs were laid, and to make it even more exciting, the sea turtle mama had an I.D. tag. Thanks to the tag, we now know that she has nested on SPI before, in 2009 and again in 2011.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles usually nest every other year, which means that this sea turtle has been a healthy, consistent breeder for at least three cycles. More breeding sea turtles like her are needed to bring the populations back to restored numbers.


The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle is the most endangered of the eight species of sea turtle, and the smallest. Majority of the Kemp’s ridley population nests in Tamaulipas, Mexico and a small population (about one percent) nests on the Texas coast.

In 1947, Andres Herrera captured footage of 40,000 Kemp’s ridleys nesting on a Mexican beach at one time. It was rare footage of an “arribada,” which is “arrival” in Spanish.

Kemp’s ridleys are unique amongst sea turtles; they are the only ones who nest during the day. Scientists theorize the reason behind this mass day nesting is the more turtles that nest at one time, the lower the odds that any one nest will be predated – safety in numbers.

Unfortunately, this made them easy for humans to harvest and by the 1980s the population had dwindled down to only a few hundred.

Now, with years of hard work by STI, TPWD, the National Park Service, Gladys Porter Zoo, and Conam within Mexico, arribadas have recovered to 3,000 to 5,000 nesting in a single day.

However, there is still a long way to go until they fully recover.


A mama ridley was spotted earlier that morning farther south on the island, and abandoned her nesting attempt. It is possible that it was the same turtle. Hopefully, it was and the second spot she chose worked well. Sometimes, a mama sea turtle will abandon her chosen nest site if she feels threatened or that the location is unsafe. If she cannot find a safe place to lay her nest, the eggs will be lost. Which is why it is important that we give these sea turtles their space so they feel comfortable enough to come up and lay their nest. If you are out enjoying the beaches on the island or at Boca Chica and you see a sea turtle on the sand, please call us immediately at 956-761-4511.

corral eggs, caitlin boveryWEB

Jeff George, Executive Director of Sea Turtle, Inc., relocates the 100 Kemp’s ridley sea turtle eggs to a protected corral, monitored by STI staff. The 2015 interns sit around him, learning how to correctly transport sea turtle eggs. Caitlin Bovery photo.


Jeff George, Executive Director of Sea Turtle, Inc., estimates that this nest will be hatching around June 15.

Of course, only the hatchlings know when they are ready to go. With hatchling releases, we rarely know more than a few hours in advance that a release will happen. But then, that’s part of the excitement, waiting on pins and needles for the big day, then launching into action to protect them as they make their journey to the ocean!

When the nests get close to hatching, we post updates to our Facebook and Twitter accounts and send emails to ourmembers. To learn more about the sea turtles, please visit us on the island or online at


From Texas Parks and Wildlife

Click below to see how TPWD is aiding in Kemp’s ridley sea turtle conservation.

First Kemp’s ridley nest of the season found

by Editor


Special to the Port Isabel PRESS


About padreeliteteam

Alta Monroe, Gayle Hood, Jules Wilk & Laurie Howell are a full-time professional and dynamic team known as the Padre Elite Team with RE/MAX 1st Choice in South Padre Island. Quality service for their clients is their number one priority. To them, it is about the client's needs and protecting their interests. Finding just the right property for their buyers or helping their sellers get their property SOLD is their goal. Helping clients step through the complicated process of buying or selling a property to a smooth closing is essential to them. A personal Bio on each of the team agents is posted on their website at The South Padre Island real estate industry is changing faster than ever these days. With the changes in the economy, there are new challenges with buyers, sellers, foreclosures, short sales, Internet marketing, our education, increases in inventories, changes in comparable sales, and frustrating politics. Alta, Gayle, Laurie, and Jules strive to stay on top of all of these changes and to keep in touch with their clients. Alta, Gayle, Jules & Laurie all hold designations they have acquired through eduction. These designations include CLHMS, CRS, GRI, RSPS, CPN, ePRO, SFR and RSPS. Gayle and Jules both hold the CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist) designation and they are the ONLY agents in the entire Rio Grande Valley that are members of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing. This better qualifies them to share their specialized expertise with a luxury home seller or buyer. Making sure the buyer and the seller are represented correctly is a priority for this team. Investing in TREPAC (Texas Real Estate Political Action Committee) is important to this team since TREPAC has proven to be a major force in Texas by lobbying for Realtors and property rights for the consumer. For many years, the Padre Elite Team has been a major investor in TREPAC. Alta and Gayle have attended the National Association of Realtors Mid-Year Conference in Washington, D.C. often. The conference is primarily for Realtors that are Board directors or executives. It is a great way to stay on top of the current issues facing Realtors and homeowners in our country. They get to meet with their Senators and Congressmen to express their concerns. Last year they were invited to attend the Realtor PAC President’s Circle Conference in New York where they heard many famous guest speakers regarding current real estate issues. The Padre Elite Team also attends the RE/MAX International Conference each year to acquire more education and to keep up with the latest technology available to Realtors in the Marketplace. They have received numerous awards for being Top Producers in the real estate industry. Education is a priority for this entire team including their assistant, Grace. The GOOD news is that 2012, 2013, 2014 and now 2015 proved to be better each year for real estate sales in South Padre Island and the surrounding areas of Port Isabel, Laguna Vista/South Padre Island Golf Community, and Bayview. The real estate market is showing an increase in the number of sales and a leveling of values. Now that the market has hit the bottom, investors are finding that real estate is a great place to invest their money. It is still a buyer's market and a great time to buy. Alta, Gayle, Jules & Laurie all agree that it has been such a pleasure to live & work in a resort area such as South Padre Island. A hundred of your closest friends and family will visit when you live near the beach! Clients are always encouraged to contact them. For more information about this team and to view their blog, visit
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