Sea turtles are one of the most iconic and popular animals found at Padre Island National Seashore.
All five of the sea turtle species found in the Gulf of Mexico rely on the park and its adjacent waters. Kemp's ridley sea turtles nest here more than at any other location in the United States. Juvenile green sea turtles live in the waters here year-round and adults nest on Padre Island in low numbers. Loggerhead sea turtles also nest in the park in low numbers and forage offshore. Leatherback sea turtles travel through the Gulf and historically nested here. Hawksbill sea turtles also travel through the area, finding food and rest along the way. These species are all federally listed as either endangered or threatened. Padre Island National Seashore is the only location in Texas where nests from all five of these species have been found.
Click on the images below to learn more about the sea turtles of Padre Island National Seashore!
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle
I’ll take the day shift. The Kemp’s ridley is the only sea turtle that nests primarily during the day. Find out why! (NPS Photo)
Green Sea Turtle
What’s in a name? The green sea turtle is brown, not green! So why was it named the "green" sea turtle? (NPS Photo)
Hawksbill Sea Turtle
The turtle with the iron stomach. What does a hawksbill eat? (NPS Photo)
Leatherback Sea Turtle
Throw your weight around. A leatherback can get how big?!? (Caroline Rogers Photo)
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
What a big head you have! A loggerhead is named after what?!? (NPS Photo)
Last updated: March 24, 2023