Between 1978 and 1991, only 200 Kemp’s ridley sea turtles nested annually near Rancho Nuevo, which is a dramatic decline from the more than 42,000 that arrived in a massive synchronized nesting in one day in 1947. Contributing to the start of their decline was the sighting of villagers harvesting 80%, or 33,000, of the eggs that had been deposited on the beach during that incredible day.
According to the National Parks Service, “During each summer from 1978 to 1988, approximately 2,000 Kemp’s ridley eggs were transported from Rancho Nuevo to the National Seashore.”
The Kemp’s ridley is on the road to recovery and in the year 2000 an estimated 2,000 females returned to the beaches of Rancho Nuevo to nest. By 2003 the number had climbed to 3,600 females and produced more than 8,000 nests, while in 2006 a total of 12,413 nests were recorded in Mexico of which 7,866 were on Rancho Nuevo.
“On the Texas coast, 251 Kemp’s ridley nests were recorded from 2002-2006. For the 2007 nesting season, 128 nests have been recorded in Texas, with 73 of those nests documented at Padre Island National Seashore. Those 128 nests are a record for the Texas coast, passing the 2006 record of 102 nests.” NOAA
Kemp’s ridley nesting data for the Texas coast