Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Rescue Endangered Sea Turtles

Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents discover endangered sea turtles during their patrol in Padre Island National Seashore. Photo: ICE

Edinburg, TX–Last Saturday afternoon, two agents patrolling the Padre Island National Seashore discovered a nesting Kemp Ridley turtle, the most endangered species of sea turtles.

Agents, from Corpus Christi Station, were conducting their normal duties in the dunes when they found a female sea turtle in a catatonic state laying her eggs. The agents contacted the park service and biologists responded immediately to recover the turtle eggs for incubation. This is the second Kemp Ridley sea turtle nest found this year, the eggs would have gone unrecovered if not for the agents. The Kemp Ridley sea turtle is the rarest species of sea turtle and is critically endangered.

Corpus Christi Station and National Park Service biologists began collaborative training on turtle detection and conservation on the Padre Island National Seashore last year. Corpus Christi agents are continually conducting patrols on the seashore to combat immigrant and narcotics smuggling and are often the first to detect sea turtle landings.

The Padre Island National Seashore Division of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery stated that this is the second Kemp Ridley nest found in Texas this year but are expecting many more.

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