Magazine article International Wildlife

Keep the Wild Alive - Volunteers Monitor, Clean Up Turtle Nesting Beaches

Magazine article International Wildlife

Keep the Wild Alive - Volunteers Monitor, Clean Up Turtle Nesting Beaches

Article excerpt

NWF's Keep the Wild Alive[ordinal indicator, feminine] program is urging members in south Texas to get directly involved in wildlife conservation by helping to monitor nesting sea turtles on Padre Island and a few nearby beaches, the only places in the United States where Kemp's ridley sea turtles nest.

The most critically endangered of the seven sea turtle species, the Kemp's ridley is one of 25 species highlighted in NWF's Keep the Wild Alive campaign. Although U.S., Mexican and international regulations now help protect turtles from slaughter for their meat, shells and skins, and from entrapment in shrimp nets, the turtles are still threatened by poaching in some areas, and by fishing gear, pollution and floating debris.

The Kemp's ridley nests almost exclusively on five miles of beach near Rancho Nuevo, Mexico. But in a cooperative U.S.-Mexican effort to establish a second nesting site, 22,500 young captive- reared turtles were released off Padre Island between 1978 and 1993 in hopes they would imprint on the area and eventually return there to lay their eggs. …

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