In an astonishing feat of life, 96 rare Kemp’s ridley sea turtles hatched and crawled their way from their sandy nest to the ocean in New York City over the weekend.
The Kemp’s ridley turtles, the most endangered and the smallest of all sea turtles, made their way out of their nests on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens in what many experts are considering an unprecedented phenomenon.
The nesting in New York actually makes this the furthest north the Kemp’s ridley has ever been documented to nest which could lead researchers to completely reevaluate current methods of conservation and helping to rebuild the species.
Back in July, the National Park service (NPS) recorded a female Kemp’s ridley crawling up the beach to lay her nest. NPS workers later excavated the nest to save it from extreme high tides. Staff were able to save and incubate 110 eggs. Of those, ninety-six have hatched and crawled back to the sea.
The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle was listed in the United States as endangered in 1970 and is mainly found in the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal development, pollution, climate change and overfishing has led the species to become threatened.