2023 Nesting Season Update
The 2023 sea turtle nesting & hatching season has come to a close, and we are so grateful for all of the people who helped to make it a success. Your efforts have made a real difference in the lives of these amazing creatures.
There is still more work to be done as sea turtles face many threats. We continue to work to protect these animals and ensure their survival for future generations.
🥳 Here are some interesting facts for the 2023 season.
- 99 nests (82 Kemp's ridley sea turtle , 17 Green sea turtle) - Largest single nesting day was 5/28
- 9818 eggs protected
- 7270 hatchlings released
- Over 35,800 miles patrolled during 2023 nesting season
- Over 4,500 hours spent patrolling the 50 southernmost miles of Texas beaches
So what happens to the nest that are still pending to hatch?
Federal permitting regulations state that any nest laid after July 15 are at a higher risk of threat from hurricane activity, thus these nests are transferred to an incubation facility in Corpus Christi, TX. A nest has a narrow window after which it is laid in which it can be safely moved, after that it becomes very difficult to move and the chances of embryo death greatly increases. Therefore, the risk to the nest to move it during incubation is much greater, that’s why they’re moved only once at the start of incubation. We still collect data and final numbers from these nest once they are hatched but they aren’t hatched on South Padre Island due to safety. We will keep the calendar up until they are hatched and the numbers will only go up! No public releases will occur on South Padre Island. But we are glad that these late babies will have higher chances of hatching in a safe environment.
Updated every Monday
Nesting & hatchling season is an exciting time for us at Sea Turtle, Inc. The 2023 nesting season officially kicks off on April 1st! Below, you will find resources to explain our role in nesting season and information on public hatchling releases.
Our nesting calendar provides detailed information about our current nesting season. Here you can track the progress of nests, starting from the date a nest was laid to when the hatchlings were released.
Estimated Hatch Dates Explained
Kemp’s Ridley eggs incubate between 45-55 days from the date the nest was laid. We calculate our estimated hatch dates based on this time frame. It’s important to remember that nature can be unpredictable and environmental factors like temperature and weather can influence incubation periods. The table below should be used only as a guide.
Estimated Hatch Dates and Public Releases
Estimated hatch dates can assist with determining the probability of having a public release. The more nests that are hatching around the same time, the more likely we are to have a public release. Visit our sea turtle releases page or scroll down for more information.
Hatchling Release FAQs
June through to August.
We are not able to predetermine or schedule releases in advance.
Our nesting calendar can help provide estimates – the more nests we have hatching at one time, the more likely we are to have a public release.
Public hatchling releases will be announced through our Facebook account.
A post will be made on our Facebook account on the morning of a release. We have two possible release times of 6:45 and 7:45 am.
In the best interest of the hatchlings, we release as soon as nests hatch. The unpredictable timing of nature means we cannot predetermine release days and times.
It’s free, although spots are limited. Plan to arrive early.
No. Sea turtles are state and federally are protected. Only permitted individuals are allowed to handle sea turtles by law.