Snug and Safe inside the Sea Turtle, Inc. Corral

By Ruma Chatterji
Sharks and killer whales are predators sea turtles certainly worry about. But, for the early part of a sea turtle’s life, that is of least concern. Getting to the ocean, unharmed — or uneaten is an intimidating challenge.

The sea turtle nest corral, full with incubating nests. Sea Turtle, Inc. Archive photo.

The sea turtle nest corral, full with incubating nests. Sea Turtle, Inc. Archive photo.

All eight species of sea turtles found in the world are endangered. The mother sea turtles need to nest on land, and all sea turtle species, except one, nest at night. The most common nester in South Padre, the Kemp’s ridley, nests during the day. They have a very specific migratory route and they nest in certain beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.
After the Kemp’s ridley nests, her eggs face a lot of danger before they hatch and head off to the big world of the ocean. Many of these turtle younglings are often consumed by foxes, dogs, birds, coyotes, crabs, etc. In order to improve their chances to make it to the ocean, conservation efforts are put into play.
We at Sea Turtle, Inc. have made a corral from a fenced off a part of the beach to re-nest the sea turtle eggs. This is done to help prevent predators from reaching the younglings. In addition, crab traps are placed within the corral to help capture any crawly predator that may manage to get through the fence.
So far, the efforts have been fruitful! As of June 15, there have been a total of 19 nests!
Once eggs are collected from the natural site, they are gently relocated to nests created by one of the Sea Turtle, Inc. staff members.
The excitement is building up to watch our hatchlings make their way to the ocean… definitely worth the wait!
The first estimated hatching release date is sometime the first week of July! Stay tuned to our website and Facebook for updates.

Ruma Chatterji wrote this article last summer, while interning for Sea Turtle, Inc. She was born in Queens, New York City, but then moved to Kolkata, India with her family when she was nine. She returned to the States in 2010 to attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her BSc degree in Environmental Biology, with a double minor in Sustainability Management and Psychology.

Did you know that the temperature actually determines the sex of a sea turtle youngling? If the nest temperatures are warm, majority of the hatchlings will be female and if the nest temperatures are cool, majority of the hatchlings will be male! An easy way to remember this fact is by remembering this… HOT CHICKS and COOL DUDES!