A project of Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Click on an animal's name for maps and more information.
Each year since 1997, with the exception of 2009, satellite transmitters have been attached to a few adult female Kemp’s ridley sea turtles that nested at, and in the vicinity of, Padre Island National Seashore. Padre Island National Seashore is the site of the long-term, bi-national project to increase nesting by Kemp’s ridley turtles to form a secondary nesting colony at a protected beach in the U.S., as a safeguard against species extinction. Over half the Kemp’s ridley nests found in the U.S. each year are located at Padre Island National Seashore.
Movements of nesting turtles are being monitored using satellite telemetry to determine where they go between successive clutches in a nesting season and after they have completed nesting for this season. This information is important in helping identify migratory corridors and foraging habitat used by post-nesting females.
Transmitters may function up to 28 months or longer before transmissions cease due to battery failure, bio-fouling, loss of the transmitter antenna, or the transmitter detachment.
Findings for turtles outfitted with transmitters between 1997 and 2006 are reported in Shaver and Rubio (2008). The 28 individuals tracked (n=36 transmitters) primarily inhabited shallower waters along the Gulf of Mexico coastline, including waters off the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico and U.S. Gulf Coast states. After completing nesting for the season, most of the tracked turtles left south Texas and traveled northward, parallel to the coastline, with their last identified location in the northern or eastern Gulf of Mexico. Inter-nesting residency was documented off south Texas and post-nesting residency in U.S. Gulf of Mexico waters from south Texas to western coast and tip of Florida.
The program was expanded to include monitoring of adult males in 2006, to gather information on their movements in this region. One adult male was tracked in 2006 and another was tracked in 2008.
To view other tracking projects conducted at Padre Island National Seashore visit:
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2005
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2006
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2007
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2008
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2010
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2011
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2012
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2013
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2014
Padre Island National Seashore Kemp's Ridley Tracking Program-2015
To view the tracking programs cooperatively conducted with Gladys Porter Zoo at Rancho Nuevo, Mexico visit:
Rancho Nuevo, Mexico Kemp's Ridley Tracking-2010
Rancho Nuevo, Mexico Kemp's Ridley Tracking-2014
Rancho Nuevo, Mexico Kemp's Ridley Tracking-2015
To view the tracking programs cooperatively conducted with the Acuario de Veracruz visit:
Veracruz, Mexico Kemp's Ridley Tracking 2012 and 2013
Veracruz, Mexico Kemp's Ridley Tracking-2014
Veracruz, Mexico Kemp's Ridley Tracking-2015
Shaver, D.J., and C. Rubio. 2008. Post-nesting movement of wild and head-started Kemp’s ridley sea turtles Lepidochelys kempii in the Gulf of Mexico. Endangered Species Research 4:43-55.
Shaver, D.J., K.M. Hart, I. Fujisaki, C. Rubio, A.R. Sartain, J. Pena, P.M. Burchfield, D.G. Gamez, and J. Ortiz. 2013. Foraging area fidelity for Kemp's ridleys in the Gulf of Mexico. Ecology and Evolution 3:2002–12.