Kemp’s Ridley Project
Of the seven species of sea turtles in the world, the Kemp’s ridley, Lepidochelys kempii, is the most endangered. It is also the smallest sea turtle and the only species that nests primarily during the daytime.
In 1978, a collaborative bi-national program between Mexico and the United States was developed to try and restore this species’ population to a self sustainable level, and in 1981, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asked the Gladys Porter Zoo to administer the United States’ field portion of the joint U.S./Mexico effort to protect and increase the production of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles in their natal beaches located in the State of Tamaulipas, Mexico. To date, the Zoo still carries out that role.