Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

The critically endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle has been threatened by shrimp trawling, egg theft, and coastal development. With protection of its major nests on the Gulf coast of Mexico, use of turtle-excluder devices on shrimp nets, and extensive captive breeding and release efforts, the turtle is gradually making a return.


Narrator: Carole AllenTitle: HEARTDuration: 00:04:28Date: January 30, 2017As founder and director of HEART (Help Endangered Animals - Ridley Turtles), and as manager of the Gulf Office of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, Carole Allen has spent decades helping bring the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle back from the brink of extinction. This interview excerpt is provided with the kind courtesy of the interviewer, Dr. Jen Brown, and of course, Ms. Allen.Narrator: Carole AllenTitle: BlockadeDuration: 00:02:33Date: January 30, 2017Carole Allen, the founder of the grassroots group, HEART, Help Endangered Animals - Sea Turtles, recalls the high tensions, including channel blockades and shots fired, during the time that the federal government sought to enforce use of turtle excluder devices on shrimp trawls.Narrator: Pat BurchfieldTitle: Rancho Nuevo NestingDuration: 00:03:16Date: April 29, 2021Dr. Pat Burchfield, the executive director of the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, has studied the Kemp's ridley sea turtle for over four decades. Much of his work has taken him to the Mexican nesting beaches of the Kemp's ridley, where he has learned why the turtle, and its eggs, were so vulnerable to capture.Narrator: Charles Caillouet, Jr.Title: RRRRDuration: 00:02:06Date: December 13, 2021Dr. Caillouet is a marine fisheries biologist who served for 26 years at the National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory in Galveston, with much of his research focused on Penaeid shrimp and Kemp's ridley sea turtles. In this excerpt, Dr. Caillouet discusses the unanswered questions about the impacts of saving and releasing stranded Kemp's ridley (and other) sea turtles, an effort that may seem humane, but could be harmful.Narrator: Henry HildebrandTitle: Egg Gathering and Shrimp TrawlingDuration: 00:02:52Date: February 21, 2000Dr. Henry Hildebrand was a marine biologist who taught at Texas A&M University in Kingsville and Corpus Christi, and did field research in the coastal waters of south Texas, eastern Mexico, and elsewhere. He was a noted expert on sea turtles, shrimp, blue crab, oysters, sharks, and red tide. Here he discusses the decline of the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, which he attributes to egg-collecting in Mexico, and shrimp-trawling in the Gulf of Mexico.Narrator: Bill OliverTitle: Turtle IslandDuration: 00:02:53Date: January 1, 2007Bill Oliver is an Austin-based singer, songwriter, teacher and environmental advocate. Here he, with the Otter Space Band, sings a tribute to the sea turtle, its deep ties to Native American legend, its great antiquity, its amazing navigational skills, and its vulnerability to decline and even extinction.Narrator: David OwensTitle: Climate ChangeDuration: 00:04:52Date: April 12, 2021David Owens, Ph.D., is a marine biologist who has taught as a professor at Texas A&M University and the College of Charleston. He has long studied the physiology, behavior and ecology of sea turtles and other marine vertebrates. Here he describes the impact of climate change on the reproduction and development of sea turtles such as the Kemp's ridley, loggerhead, and other species.Narrator: David OwensTitle: Artificial ImprintingDuration: 00:02:45Date: April 16, 2021David Owens, Ph.D., is a marine biologist who has taught at Texas A&M University and the College of Charleston. He has also been an active and long-term sea turtle researcher very experienced with Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Here he discusses the successful, multi-year effort to artificially imprint the ridley hatchlings on the beaches of Padre Island, leading to the creation of a new nesting site for this very rare creature.Narrator: Jaime PenaTitle: 1 Out Of 1000Duration: 00:04:00Date: May 20, 2021Jaime Pena is a biologist and Wildlife Care Manager at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. Earlier, he served as Curator of Conservation Programs at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, where he spent over two decades coordinating the Kemp's Ridley Binational Project, protecting and restoring ridley nesting on Mexican shores. Here he explains how he urged townspeople to join in the recovery effort by reducing their collection of turtle eggs.Narrator: Donna ShaverTitle: Turtle ReleasesDuration: 00:03:35Date: October 12, 2021Dr. Donna Shaver is a zoologist and the chief of the division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery for the National Park Service at Padre Island National Seashore in south Texas. She has been involved with protecting and restoring the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle for over 40 years. Here she describes the efforts to protect turtle nests on the Seashore, and to share the release of the hatchlings with the public.Narrator: Thane WibbelsTitle: New NormalDuration: 00:02:30Date: June 28, 2021Thane Wibbels, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who has been involved in research and conservation of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle for many years. Like other scientists, he has been puzzled by the plateauing of the turtle's recovery around 2010, and now theorizes that the creature's numbers may be capped by the diminished carrying capacity of the Gulf of Mexico.