Sea Turtle Hatchling Releases
Photo by Julio Barrada
Protection of Nests
Eggs from most sea turtle nests found at Padre Island National Seashore and northward along the Texas coast are transported to the Padre Island National Seashore incubation facility for protected care and monitoring and the hatchlings are released at the northern end of Padre Island National Seashore. However, eggs from some of the nests found at the southern end of Padre Island National Seashore are incubated in a screen enclosure called a corral, located at the base camp near the National Seashore's 40 mile marker, and the resulting hatchlings are released there.
Public Hatchling Releases at Padre Island National Seashore
Hatchling releases are extremely popular with the public. Thousands of people attend each year. Local citizens attend in large numbers, as do visitors from out of town.
How to Attend a Hatchling Release
Hatchling release dates and times depend on when the nests hatch and the hatchlings become active and ready for release. Visitors coming from out of town to attend a release are encouraged to select dates when several nests are due to be released, so that if turtles from some nests go into their frenzy during the middle of the night and have to be released, there will still be turtles from other nests available for the public release. As the projected release dates that you are interested in near, call the recorded Hatchling Hotline at (361) 949-7163 for the latest information on the release date, time, or location.
Projected Release Dates for Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Nests Held in the Incubation Facility at Padre Island National Seashore - 2015
Note that not all clutches are released during the public releases, and public releases do not occur daily. Hatchlings are released when they become active. When this occurs unexpectedly or in the middle of the night, the public cannot be invited to the release. Due to these factors, it is much more likely that a public release will be held on a day when several clutches are due to hatch and be released at the same time.