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Texas Beach Visitors Can Now Report Turtle and Nest Sightings


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New Toll Free Information Line
Established to Protect Sea Turtles

Texas Beach Visitors Can Now Report Turtle and Nest Sightings.

Houston ­ The Gulf Office of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project and HEART
(Help Endangered Animals-Ridley Turtles) have announced the sponsorship of a
toll free Texas Sea Turtle Information Line. This number allows beach
visitors to report sightings of sea turtles and their nests along the Texas
coasts, and will allow government agencies and biologists to better respond
to protect these endangered species if needed.

³Since four Kempıs ridley sea turtles nested on the north Texas coast last
year, we are asking visitors to all Texas beaches to be vigilant and report
any activity,² said Carole Allen, Gulf Office Director for Sea Turtle
Restoration Project and HEART. ³We need everyoneıs help to report sea
turtles, tracks, nests or hatchlings and the phone line will make it easy.²

Anyone who visits a Texas beach and sees a nesting turtle or its tracks,
hatchlings, a turtle nest, or an injured or dead sea turtle is asked to call
the toll free number 1-866-TURTLE-5.  The caller will be furnished a
telephone number for a sea turtle biologist or government agency
representative who is closest to the location of the turtle and be asked to
make a second call to that person.

Allen added, ³Turtles, eggs, eggshells and nests are protected by federal
and state law.  A nesting turtle should not be disturbed.  If possible, the
sea turtle should be photographed or video taped and the place where the
turtle nested should be marked.²

Although increased law enforcement by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
has reduced sea turtle deaths, numbers have historically become more
frequent with increased shrimping activity.  The Texas Sea Turtle
Information Line can be used for the reporting of dead or injured sea

Agencies participating in this cooperative program include National Marine
Fisheries Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, US Geological
Survey, National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, University of
Texas system and the Gladys Porter Zoo.

For more information on sea turtles, please visit

Photos of sea turtles are available.  Poster advertising toll free number
also available.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Carole Allen, Sea Turtle Restoration Project and HEART
Phone: 281-444-6204