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Kemp's ridley sea turtle:
Species and Name: The Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) is the most endangered species of sea turtle and is also the smallest among the sea turtle species.
Range: These turtles are primarily found in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Atlantic Ocean. They are known to nest along the coastlines of Mexico and occasionally in the United States.
Nesting Behavior: Kemp's ridley sea turtles are known for their unique nesting behavior called "arribada," where thousands of female turtles come ashore to nest simultaneously. This phenomenon occurs primarily on a few select beaches in Mexico.
Size: Adult Kemp's ridley sea turtles typically measure about 2 to 2.5 feet (60 to 75 cm) in length and weigh around 80 to 100 pounds (36 to 45 kg).
Appearance: They have an olive-gray to grayish-green shell (carapace) and a somewhat circular shape. Hatchlings are dark-colored, with their shells being heart-shaped.
Diet: Kemp's ridley sea turtles are omnivores, primarily feeding on a variety of marine invertebrates such as crabs, jellyfish, shrimp, and other small aquatic organisms.
Conservation Status: The Kemp's ridley sea turtle is critically endangered. It has faced threats such as accidental capture in fishing gear (bycatch), habitat loss, pollution, and egg poaching.
Conservation Efforts: Conservation programs and efforts have been established to protect nesting beaches, monitor nesting and hatching, and address bycatch issues. These efforts aim to increase the survival rates of both adult and hatchling Kemp's ridley sea turtles.
Lifespan: The exact lifespan of Kemp's ridley sea turtles in the wild is not well-documented, but it is believed to be around 30-50 years.
Migration: Kemp's ridley sea turtles undertake migrations across the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic coast, often covering long distances to reach feeding and nesting areas.
Habitat: These sea turtles inhabit warm coastal waters, shallow bays, and estuaries, where they can find their preferred prey and nesting sites.
Captive Rehabilitation: Conservation organizations and marine facilities work to rescue and rehabilitate injured or stranded Kemp's ridley sea turtles with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.
August 18th, 2023
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