Kemp's ridley sea turtle
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Kemp's ridley sea turtle (''Lepidochelys kempii''), also called the Atlantic ridley sea turtle, is the rarest
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
of
sea turtle Sea turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines Turtles are reptile Reptiles are tetrapod Tetrapods (; from Greek 'four' and 'foot') are four-limbed animals constitut ...

sea turtle
and is the world's most
endangered An endangered species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group ...
species of sea turtle. It is one of two living species in the
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
'' Lepidochelys'' (the other one being ''L. olivacea'', the
olive ridley sea turtle The olive ridley sea turtle (''Lepidochelys olivacea''), also known commonly as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an or ...

olive ridley sea turtle
).


Taxonomy

This species of turtle is called Kemp's ridley because Richard Moore Kemp (1825-1908) of
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Key West
was the first to send a
specimen Specimen may refer to: Science and technology * Sample (material) In general, a sample is a limited quantity of something which is intended to be similar to and represent a larger amount of that thing(s). The things could be countable In ...
to Samuel Garman at
Harvard Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard
, but the origin of the name "ridley" itself is unknown. Prior to the term being popularly used (for both species in the genus), ''L. kempii'' at least was known as the "bastard turtle". At least one source also refers to Kemp's ridley as a "heartbreak turtle". In her book ''The Great Ridley Rescue'', Pamela Philips claimed the name was coined by fishermen who witnessed the turtles dying after being "turned turtle" (on their backs). The fishermen said the turtles "died of a broken heart".


Description

Kemp's ridley is the smallest of all sea turtle species, reaching maturity at carapace length and weighing only . Conant R (1975). ''A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Second Edition.'' Boston: Houghton Mifflin. xviii + 429 pp. + Plates 1-48. (hardcover), (paperback). (''Lepidochelys kempi'', pp. 75-76 + Plate 11). Typical of sea turtles, it has a
dorsoventral Standard anatomical terms of location deal unambiguously with the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient ...
ly depressed body with specially adapted flipper-like front limbs and a
beak The beak, bill, and/or rostrum is an external anatomical structure found mostly in birds Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellu ...

beak
. Kemp's ridley turtle adults reach a maximum of in carapace length and weighing a maximum of . The adult's oval carapace is almost as wide as it is long and is usually olive-gray in color. The carapace has five pairs of costal scutes. In each bridge adjoining the plastron to the carapace are four inframarginal scutes, each of which is perforated by a pore. The head has two pairs of prefrontal scales. These turtles change color as they mature. As hatchlings, they are almost entirely a dark purple on both sides, but mature adults have a yellow-green or white
plastron The turtle shell is a shield for the ventral and dorsal parts of turtles (the Order (biology), order Testudines), completely enclosing all the vital organs of the turtle and in some cases even the head. It is constructed of modified bony elements ...

plastron
and a grey-green
carapace A carapace is a Dorsum (biology), dorsal (upper) section of the exoskeleton or shell in a number of animal groups, including arthropods, such as crustaceans and arachnids, as well as vertebrates, such as turtles and tortoises. In turtles and tor ...
. Kemp's ridley has a triangular-shaped head with a somewhat hooked beak with large crushing surfaces. The skull is similar to that of the
olive ridley The olive ridley sea turtle (''Lepidochelys olivacea''), also known commonly as the Pacific ridley sea turtle, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an org ...
. Unlike other sea turtles, the surface on the squamosal bone where the jaw opening muscles originate, faces to the side rather than to the back. They are the only sea turtles that nest during the day.


Distribution

The distribution of ''L. kempii'' is somewhat usual compared to most reptiles, varying significantly among adults and juveniles, as well as males and females. Adults primarily live in the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
, where they forage in the relatively shallow waters of the
continental shelf A continental shelf is a portion of a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth descriptio ...

continental shelf
(up to 409 m deep, but typically 50 m or less),Fritts, T. H., W. Hoffman, and M. A. McGehee. 1983. ''The distribution and abundance of marine turtles in the Gulf of Mexico and nearby Atlantic waters''. Journal of Herpetology 17: 327-344. with females ranging from the southern coast of the Florida Peninsula to the northern coast of the
Yucatán Peninsula The Yucatán Peninsula (, also , ; es, Península de Yucatán ) is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth ...

Yucatán Peninsula
, while males have a tendency to remain closer to the nesting beaches in the Western Gulf waters of
Texas Texas (, ; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambigu ...

Texas
(USA),
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbreviated as CDMX; nah, ...

Tamaulipas
, and
Veracruz Veracruz (), formally Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave), is one of the 31 states which, along with Me ...

Veracruz
(Mexico).Morreale, Stephen J., pamrls T. Plotkin, Donna J. Shaver, and Heather J. Kalb. 2007. ''Adult Migration and Habitat Utilization: Ridley Turtles in the Element''. 213-229 pp. In Pamela T. Plotkin (editor). ''Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles''. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland. x, 356 pp. Adults of ''L. kempii'' are rarely found outside of the Gulf of Mexico and only 2-4%Ernst, Carl H. and Jeffrey E. Lovich. 2009. ''Turtles of the United States and Canada'' (2nd. ed.). The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland. xii, 827 pp. from the Atlantic are adults.Wilson, Robert V. and George R. Zug. 1991. ''Lepidochelys kempii''. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. 509.1-509.8 pp.Iverson, John B. 1992. ''A Revised Checklist with Distribution Maps of the Turtles of the World''. Green Nature Books. Homestead Florida. 363 pp. Juveniles and subadults, in contrast, regularly migrate into the Atlantic Ocean and occupy the coastal waters of the continental shelf of North America from southern Florida to
Cape Cod Cape Cod is a geographic cape extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Art ...

Cape Cod
, Massachusetts, and occasionally northward. Accidental and
vagrant Vagrancy is the condition of homelessness Homelessness is lacking stable and appropriate housing. People can be categorized as homeless if they are: living on the streets (primary homelessness); moving between temporary shelters, includin ...
records are known with some regularity from throughout the northern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, where the
Gulf Stream The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension the North Atlantic Drift The North Atlantic Current (NAC), also known as North Atlantic Drift and North Atlantic Sea Movement, is a powerful warm western boundary current Boundary curren ...
is believed to play a significant role in their dispersal. Confirmed records from
Newfoundland Newfoundland and Labrador (, ) is the easternmost provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada, in the country's Atlantic Canada, Atlantic region. It is composed of the island of Newfoundland (island), Newfoundland and the continental ...

Newfoundland
to
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
in the west; to
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain and Ireland), North Channel, the Irish Sea ...

Ireland
, the
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Netherlands
,
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
in the Mediterranean, and numerous localities in between are known in the east, although more than 95% of these involve juveniles or subadults. Several reports from the African coast from
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
to
Cameroon Cameroon (, french: Cameroun), officially the Republic of Cameroon (french: République du Cameroun, links=no), is a country in west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal direc ...

Cameroon
involve unverified specimens and may include misidentified ''L. olivacea''. In November 2021 a male was found alive on
Talacre Talacre is a village in Flintshire on the north coast of Wales in the Community (Wales), community of Llanasa and the electoral ward of Ffynnongroyw, and is the northernmost settlement in Wales. The village itself has a population of 347 as of the ...
beach in
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North Wales
. The turtle was taken to the
Anglesey Sea Zoo The Anglesey Sea Zoo ( cy, Sw Môr Môn) is an aquarium and independent research and marine education centre on the south coast of Anglesey island in North Wales. Located just outside the village of Brynsiencyn, Anglesey Sea Zoo claims to be the l ...
for treatment, with the intent of eventual transportation back to the Gulf of Mexico.


Feeding and life history


Feeding

Kemp's ridley turtle feeds on
mollusk Mollusca is the second-largest phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number ...
s,
crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodlice, barnacles, copepods, amphipoda, amphipods and mantis shrimp. The ...
s,
jellyfish Jellyfish and sea jellies are the informal common names given to the medusa-phase of certain gelatinous members of the subphylum In zoological nomenclature The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted Con ...

jellyfish
,
fish Fish are aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the ...

fish
,
algae Algae (; singular alga ) is an informal term for a large and diverse group of photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to convert Conversion or convert may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Co ...

algae
or
seaweed Seaweed, or macroalgae, refers to thousands of species of Macroscopic scale, macroscopic, Multicellular organism, multicellular, ocean, marine algae. The term includes some types of ''Rhodophyta'' (red), ''Phaeophyta'' (brown) and ''Chlorophyt ...

seaweed
, and
sea urchin Sea urchins () are spine (zoology), spiny, globular echinoderms in the class Echinoidea. About 950 species of sea urchin live on the seabed of every ocean and inhabit every depth zone — from the intertidal seashore down to . The spherical, ha ...

sea urchin
s. Juveniles primarily feed on crabs.


Life history

Most females return each year to a single beach—Rancho Nuevo in the
Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in North America ** Being related to the State of Mexico, one of the 32 federal entities of Mexico ** Culture of Mexico *** Mexican cuisi ...

Mexican
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine ''State Magazine'' is a digital magazine published by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Global Talent Management. Its mission is to acquaint Department o ...

state
of
Tamaulipas Tamaulipas (), officially the Free and Sovereign State of Tamaulipas ( es, Estado Libre y Soberano de Tamaulipas), is one of the 31 states which, along with Mexico City Mexico City ( es, link=no, Ciudad de México, ; abbreviated as CDMX; nah, ...

Tamaulipas
—to lay
eggs Egg An egg is the organic vessel containing the in which an develops until it can survive on its own, at which point the animal hatches. An egg results from of an . Most s, (excluding s), and lay eggs, although some, such as s, do ...
. The females arrive in large groups of hundreds or thousands in nesting aggregations called ''arribadas'', which is a Spanish word for "arrivals". Juvenile turtles tend to live in floating
sargassum ''Sargassum'' is a genus of brown (class Phaeophyceae The brown algae (singular: alga), comprising the class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge re ...
seaweed beds for their first years. Then, they range between northwest Atlantic waters and the Gulf of Mexico while growing into maturity. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 10–12. This is the only species that nests primarily during the day. The nesting season for these turtles is April to August. They nest mostly (95%) on a 16-mile beach in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and on
Padre Island Padre Island is the largest of the Texas barrier islands and the world's longest barrier island. The island is located along Texas's southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is noted for its white sandy beaches. Meaning ''father'' in Spanish langua ...
in the US state of Texas, and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast. They mate offshore. Gravid females land in groups on beaches in ''arribadas'' or mass nesting. They prefer areas with
dunes A dune is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the ...

dunes
, or secondarily,
swamps A swamp is a forested wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked ...

swamps
. The estimated number of nesting females in 1947 was 89,000, but shrank to an estimated 7,702 by 1985. Females nest two or three times during a season, keeping 10 to 20 days between nestings. Incubation takes 45 to 70 days. Around 110 eggs are in a
clutch A clutch is a mechanical device that engages and disengages power transmission Transmission may refer to: Science and technology * Power transmissionPower transmission is the movement of energy from its place of generation to a location wh ...
. The hatchlings' sex is decided by the temperature in the area during incubation. If the temperature is below 29.5 °C, the offspring will be mainly male. File:Turtle hatchling close-up, Texas (5984381381).jpg, Hatchling File:Lepidochelys kempii baby turtle.jpg, Hatchling File:Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle, Texas (5984946972).jpg, Juvenile turtle File:Kemp's Ridley sea turtle nesting.JPG, Adult turtle nesting File:Lepidochelys kempii, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle, Tamaulipas.jpg, Nesting female returning to sea File:Kemp ridley sea turtle endangered species washes up on the beach.jpg, Deceased adult


Conservation

Egg harvesting and poaching first depleted the numbers of Kemp's ridley sea turtles, but today, major threats include
habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...

habitat
loss,
pollution Pollution is the introduction of contaminant Contamination is the presence of a constituent, impurity, or some other undesirable element that spoils, corrupts, infects, makes unfit, or makes inferior a material, physical body, natural en ...

pollution
, and entanglement in
shrimp Shrimp are Decapoda, decapod crustaceans with elongated bodies and a primarily swimming mode of locomotion – most commonly Caridea and Dendrobranchiata. More narrow definitions may be restricted to Caridea, to smaller species of either group ...

shrimp
ing nets. Efforts to protect ''L. kempii'' began in 1966, when Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Biologico-Pesqueras (National Institute of Biological-Fisheries Research) sent biologists Hunberto Chávez, Martin Contreras, and Eduardo Hernondez to the coast of southern Tamaulipas, to survey and instigate conservation plans.Heppell, Selina S., Patrick M. Burchfield, and Luis Jaine Peña. 2007. Kemp's Ridley Recovery: How Far Have We Come, and Where Are We Headed? 325-335 pp. In Pamela T. Plotkin (editor). Biology and Conservation of Ridley Sea Turtles. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, Maryland. x, 356 pp. Kemp's ridley turtle was first listed under the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1970 on December 2, 1970, and subsequently under the
Endangered Species Act The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA or "The Act"; 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) is the primary law in the United States for protecting imperiled species. Designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction Extinction is the te ...
of 1973. In 1977, an informal, binational, multiagency, the Kemp's Ridley Working Group, first met to develop a recovery plan. A binational recovery plan was developed in 1984, and revised in 1992. A draft public review draft of the second revision was published by
National Marine Fisheries Service The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), informally known as NOAA Fisheries, is the United States federal agency responsible for the stewardship of national marine Marine is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the sea or ocean ...
in March 2010. This revision includes an updated
threat assessment Threat assessment is the practice of determining the credibility and seriousness of a potential threat, as well as the probability that the threat will become a reality. Threat assessment is separate to the more established practice of violence-ri ...
. One mechanism used to protect turtles from fishing nets is the
turtle excluder device A turtle excluder device (TED) is a specialized device that allows a captured sea turtle Sea turtles (superfamily Chelonioidea), sometimes called marine turtles, are reptiles of the order Testudines Turtles are reptile Reptiles a ...

turtle excluder device
(TED). Because the biggest danger to the population of Kemp's ridley sea turtles is shrimp trawls, the TED is attached to the shrimp trawl. It is a grid of bars with an opening at the top or bottom, fitted into the neck of the shrimp trawl. It allows small animals to slip through the bars and be caught while larger animals, such as sea turtles, strike the bars and are ejected, thus avoiding possible drowning. In September 2007,
Corpus Christi, Texas Corpus Christi (; Ecclesiastical Latin Ecclesiastical Latin, also called Church Latin, Liturgical Latin or Italianate Latin, is a form of Latin initially developed to discuss Christian theology, Christian thought and later used as a lingua franca ...
,
wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functi ...

wildlife
officials found a record of 128 Kemp's ridley sea turtle nests on Texas beaches, including 81 on North
Padre Island Padre Island is the largest of the Texas barrier islands and the world's longest barrier island. The island is located along Texas's southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico and is noted for its white sandy beaches. Meaning ''father'' in Spanish langua ...
(
Padre Island National Seashore Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) is a national seashore The United States has ten protected areas known as national seashores and three known as national lakeshores, which are public lands operated by the National Park Service (NPS), an a ...
) and four on
Mustang Island Mustang Island is a barrier island Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. They usually occur in ...
. The figure was exceeded in each of the following 7 years (see graph to 2013, provisional figures for 2014 as at July, 118.). Wildlife officials released 10,594 Kemp's ridley hatchlings along the Texas coast that year. The turtles are popular in Mexico, as raw material for leather and as food. In July 2020, five rehabilitated turtles were released back in to Cape Cod with satellite tracking devices to monitor their wellbeing. A 2020 rescue mission to save 30 turtles from the freezing seas of Cape Cod was delayed by weather and technical issues, spurring a temporary rescue mission ''en route'' between Massachusetts and New Mexico. The
Tennessee Aquarium The Tennessee Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States. It opened in 1992 on the banks of the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga, with a major expansion added in 2005. The aquarium, which has ...
offered overnight shelter and care, and the turtles were eventually released to the sea.


Oil spills

Some Kemp's ridleys were airlifted from Mexico after the 1979 blowout of the Ixtoc 1 rig, which spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Since April 30, 2010, 10 days after the accident on the ''
Deepwater Horizon ''Deepwater Horizon'' was an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible Semi-submersible may refer to a self-propelled vessel, such as: *Heavy-lift ship A heavy-lift ship is a ship, vessel designed to move very large loa ...
'', 156 sea turtle deaths were recorded; most were Kemp's ridleys.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is a state agency of Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ' ...
biologists and enforcement agents rescued Kemp's ridleys in Grand Isle. Most of the 456 oiled turtles that were rescued, cleaned, and released by the US Fish and Wildlife Service were Kemp's ridleys. Of the endangered marine species frequenting Gulf waters, only Kemp's ridley relies on the region as its sole breeding ground. As part of the effort to save the species from some of the effects of the ''Deepwater Horizon'' oil spill, scientists took nests and incubated them elsewhere; 67 eggs were collected from a nest along the Florida Panhandle on June 26, 2010, and brought to a temperature-controlled warehouse at NASA's
Kennedy Space Center The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC, originally known as the NASA Launch Operations Center), located on Merritt Island, Florida, is one of the NASA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) ten NASA facilities#List of field ...

Kennedy Space Center
, where 56 hatched, and 22 were released on 11 July 2010. The overall plan was to collect eggs from about 700 sea turtle nests, incubate them, and release the young on beaches across Alabama and Florida over a period of months. Eventually, 278 nests were collected, including only a few Kemp's ridley nests.


References


Further reading

* Garman S. (1880). On certain Species of Chelonioidæ. ''Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard College'' 6 (6): 123–126. (''Thalassochelys kempii'', new species, pp. 123–124). * Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is critically endangered and the criteria used *


External links


Profile
from the OBIS-SEAMAP project of the
Ocean Biogeographic Information System The Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), formerly Ocean Biogeographic Information System, is a web-based access point to information about the distribution and abundance of living species in the ocean. It was developed as the information ...

Turtle Trax.org: Kemp's ridley sea turtle Profile


* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20061116101414/http://research.myfwc.com/features/category_main.asp?id=1289 Informationfrom the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is a Florida government Government agency, agency founded in 1999 and headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, Tallahassee. It manages and regulates the state's fish and wildlife resources, ...

Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. — Kemp's ridley sea turtle
{{DEFAULTSORT:Kemp's ridley sea turtle Lepidochelys Sea turtles Turtles of North America Reptiles of Mexico Reptiles of the United States Reptiles of the Caribbean Fauna of the Southeastern United States Biota of the Gulf of Mexico Critically endangered animals Critically endangered biota of Mexico Critically endangered fauna of the United States ESA endangered species Reptiles described in 1880 Articles containing video clips