Institute for Marine Mammal Studies documents Kemp’s Ridley nest on Ship Island

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies has documented an occurrence that has never been documented before within its studies.

IMMS received a report from National Park Services rangers that they saw a nesting sea turtle on a Ship Island beach.

After investigating, the team with IMMS was able to identify the nest belonging to a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.

This is the first ever documented case of a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nesting on Ship Island. Usually these turtles nest in Mexico and South Texas.

The IMMS team also found another sea turtle nest on the mainland in Pass Christian, which marks the first recorded nest on the mainland since 2018. Neither of the nests resulted in any hatched eggs. IMMS Stranding Coordinator Theresa Madrigal said, “It’s very, very significant just to see how these sea turtles are utilizing our beaches to nest and also to see the success of these different recovery efforts. Part of why we were out on Ship Island was to monitor the areas where they reconnected East and West ship to see how viable that project has been in order to bring sea turtles in to nest.”

If you find any signs of a sea turtle nest such as turtle tracks or displaced sand, call IMMS at 1-888-SOS-DOLPHIN to report it.

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