Synopsis of Biological Data on the Kemp's Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempi (Garman, 1880) Page: 4 of 97
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COMPILATION OF THIS SYNOPSIS
The Kemp's ridley turtle synopsis was originally written for presentation at the Western Atlantic Turtle
Symposium held at Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, October 12-16, 1987. This version was requested by the organizing
committee, particularly Fred Berry, as a contribution from the Instituto Nacional de la Pesca (INP). However, for
diverse reasons, it was never published.
The FAO style synopsis have the distinction of being documents arising from consultation at the request
of government agencies charged with managing fishery resources. These synopses are summaries of published
research on the biology of these species, are made available to resource managers.
Bi-national meetings between mexico and the United States (MEXUS-GULF) were initiated in 1977 in order to
promote research on species of mutual interest and it was agreed to publish the results on the joint work
undertaken at Rancho Nuevo, Tamaulipas. In the 1989 MEXUS-GULF meeting it was decided to publish some
of the research results accumulated by updating the 1987 synopsis. A proposal was made through the U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service (FWS) and the U.S. Minerals Management Service (MMS) to work with INP on this project.
However, in spite of the great interest shown, financial support was not available and the work could not be
completed. It was towards the end of 1991 that through the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and
the aforementioned agencies that the project was re-activated.
At present, the Kemp's ridley population is considered endangered because of its restricted distribution
and because it has only one nesting area in the Gulf of Mexico, which covers only 100 km of coastline.
Fortunately, up to now, human habitation is sparse on this beach, Among the marine turtles, the Kemp's ridley
is the most vulnerable to man's actions, for which reason the Mexican government has given it the greatest
attention. In 1966, a research and conservation program was initiated and has continued uninterrupted to date.
Starting in 1978, a joint program (MEXUS-GULF) has been in place for research and conservation at the rancho
Nuevo nesting beach. This beach was declared the First natural reserve for marine turtles in Mexico, July 4, 1977.
Since research was started at Rancho Nuevo a number of INP researchers have participated. Many of
these were the original pioneers: Humberto Chavez (1966), Martin Contreras (1966-1967), the author (1967 to
date), Antonio Montoya (1967-1969), Fidel Mendoza (1968-1969) Gustovo Casas-Andreu and Emmanuel Vargas
(1970), Manual Sanchez, Juan Diaz Aristotles Villanueva (1972 to date), and Javier Vasconcelos (1985 to date).
Therefore, much of the published and unpublished data in Mexico is because of their efforts. Substantial support
has come from Jack Woody (1978-1992) and Richard Byles (1978 to date), both of the U.S. FWS, Peter Pritchard
of the Florida Audubon Society (1978-1979), Patrick Burchfield of the Gladys Porter Zoo (1980 to date), Vicente
Mongrel with UAT, plus a number of volunteers who have helped with the field work; The University of the
Northeast, the CET of the Sea, City of Madero the Autonomous University of tarnaulipas, and the Boys Scouts
of America. Enforcement has been under the Secretariat of the Navy, coordinated with the Secretariat of Fisheries.
The first provided a naval squadron and the latter provided a fishery inspector. Support has also been provided
by the Federal sand local governments in field activities, especially Ernesto Carripio (Ex-fishery director) and
Engineer Javier Llerna H. (ex state fishery delegate) both from Tamaulipas. Locally, from Rancho Nuevo, Juan
Gonzalez and his son have donated the land where the turtle field station is located. We are also grateful to luis
and Antonio Gonzalez who have supported in an exemplary manner to the success of this work.
Dr. Nancy Thompson and Wayne N. Witzell, both of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service as
counterparts of the MEXUS-GULF Turtle Workshop, were instrumental in providing a computer under U.S.
Minerals Management Service Interagency Agreement #13339, as well as support for work on the manuscript,
its translation into english as well as its publication. Alicia Barcena and Dr. Margarita Lizarraga, while in charge
of INP, as well as its present Director Juan Luis Cifuentes, provided assistance and facilities for review and
publication of the Spanish version. Mirna Cruz has always been a source of encouragement and together with
Elaine Espino reviewed and corrected the draft manuscript, containing field data compiled since 1966, which was
used to update and construct new tables. Finally, and most importantly, I dedicate this synopsis to the memory
of my father, Roberto Marquez-M.
Publishers note: The compilation, translation, and publication of this synopsis were funded through Interagency
Agreement 13339 to the National Marine Fisheries Service from the Minerals Management Service. This synopsis
was translated from the original Spanish version. The publishers apologizes for any errors or inconsistencies due
to the translation.
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Marquez-M, Rene. Synopsis of Biological Data on the Kemp's Ridley Turtle, Lepidochelys kempi (Garman, 1880), text, January 1994; New Orleans, Louisiana. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc955598/m1/4/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.