• 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 and fax line are not working. To reach the park visitor center, call (361) 949-8069. Fax to (361) 949-7091, Attention: Visitor Center. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  • Bird Island Basin Campground rehabilitation starts August 18, 2014

    The second part of a project to repair facilities and rebuild eroded shoreline at Bird Island Basin Campground begins August 18. Minor disruptions of activities in the immediate area may occur. None of the work should affect use of the boat ramp.

  • Coastal Flood Advisory until 10:00 pm CDT 9-26-14

    The National Weather Service issued a Coastal Flood Advisory due to strong offshore winds pushing the tides above normal levels. Beach driving is highly discouraged. Flooding up to the dunes is likely. Additional updates will be posted if necessary.

Sargassum Swimming Crab

Sargassum Swimming Crab

Blending in with the free-floating masses of orange-brown Sargassum seaweed that seasonally drift onto the beach at Padre Island National Seashore, Sargassum swimming crabs rely on their fantastic camouflage and ability to swim for survival. As with other swimming crabs, they come equipped with tiny swim paddles on their hind legs. They are, however, also capable of crawling on land. Sargassum swimming crabs aren’t alone in this fragile, complicated mini-ecosystem. There are as many as 70 species living in these floating masses. Their neighbors include larval crabs, shrimp, flatworms, hydroids, tiny fish, seahorses and nudibranchs. Sargassum swimming crabs both aggressively hunt and wait for prey to wander close enough to deliver an unsuspecting lethal jab. The crabs also feed on less complex invertebrates, such as hydroids and bryozoans, which also inhabit the seaweed. These layers of interdependence in their enable these crabs and other species to coexist and keep their shared Sargassum home in balance.

Did You Know?

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Eighteen species of birds found at Padre Island National Seashore are state or federally listed as endangered, threatened, or a species of concern. More...