We visited some friends at the end of last week. They are new arrivals on the island and their house overlooks a small beach. During one of their regular beach walks recently they found the body of young Kemp's Ridley Turtle after it had been driven ashore during one of the many storms we have had this winter. This is a rare turtle to UK waters and this one is only the 36th to be record in Britian.
The Kemp’s Ridley turtle is the world’s most endangered sea turtle, and
with a worldwide female nesting population roughly estimated at just 1,000 individuals, its survival truly hangs in the balance. Their perilous situation
is attributed primarily to the over-harvesting of their eggs during the last century. And though their nesting grounds are protected and many commercial fishing fleets now use turtle excluder devices in their nets, these turtles have not been able to rebound.
They prefer shallow waters, where they dive to the bottom to feed on crabs, which are their favorite food, and other shellfish. They also eat jellyfish, and occasionally munch on seaweed and sargassum. They may live to be 50 years old. Highly migratory animals, they often travel hundreds of miles to reach their nesting beach, usually the same beach they hatched from.