• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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  • Park Phone issues

    The visitor center main phone line is out. To reach the park call (361) 949-8069 or (361) 949-4793. The issue has been reported, however the phone company is having difficulty locating the problem. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Padre Island National Seashore will Conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint on Saturday, July 19, 2014.

    To protect the public from impaired drivers and help ensure a safe park experience for all visitors, Padre Island National Seashore law enforcement will conduct a Sobriety Checkpoint on Saturday, July 19, 2014 on Park Road 22 near the park’s entrance.

Habits of Emerging Kemp's ridley Hatchlings

Occasionally, Kemp's ridley nests are not found at egg laying and hence incubate on the beach (in situ), unprotected. This occurs in two situations. In one situation, tracks from the nesting turtles are found, but the nest cannot initially be located so the site is marked and biologists return to monitor for signs of nest predation or hatching. In the other situation, nests are found predated or hatched at sites that biologists have no previous knowledge of. Hatching success and survival of hatchlings is typically reduced for these in situ nests compared to protected nests.

Emergence from an in situ nest can occur during the day or night. Once hatchlings start emerging from the nest, it can take from 15 minutes to 2 days for all to evacuate the nest. Emerging hatchlings take slightly different paths and travel at slightly different speeds. They slowly crawl towards the water and stop periodically until they enter the surf. Once in the surf they typically swim away vigorously.

However, the trek to the sea can be perilous for the hatchlings. Hatchlings are difficult to see because of their small size and some have been killed at in situ nests elsewhere in Texas due to vehicle drive over. Some have been killed by predators (gulls, ghost crabs, coyotes). Also, some emerging at night have become disoriented by bright lights and traveled towards the vegetation instead of the water.

Did You Know?

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The Laguna Madre is one of only six lagoons in the world that is hypersaline (saltier than the ocean). More...