Review of the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Headstart Program, Galveston, Texas
NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-3
Workshop Date: 22 - 23 September 1992
The Kemp's ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelvs kem~ii, is classified under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 as Endangered. This species is considered the rarest of all sea turtle species (all sea turtles occurring in U.S. waters are listed as Threatened or Endangered). Less than 50 years ago, Kemp's ridley sea turtles were considered abundant in the Gulf of Mexico. A 16 rnrn film record from 1947 of a single breeding aggregation (known as an Arribada) contained approximately 40,000 females at a single beach in Northeast Mexico. By 1992, the species was reduced to less than 500 nesting turtles.