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Texas A&M University
TAMU 4230 4800 Regent Blvd. Student Learning Center Irving, TX 75063
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New | AnimalGate
Andre Landry, a sea turtle expert at Texas A&M University in Galveston, said baby turtles swim out and attach themselves to algae mats or other floating habitats.
It's possible those habitats are oiled, he said.
In Florida, because of the proximity to the oil, loggerhead turtle nests are being collected and incubated.
Hatchlings are being released on the state's eastern coast, far from the oil.
"That goes in direct opposition to what's been decided with the Kemp's ridleys," Landry said.
The Kemp's ridleys have been on the endangered list since 1973 after their population was depleted from years of hunting their eggs and trapping the animals in fishing nets.
Patrolling the Upper Texas Coast was ...
Patrolling the Upper Texas Coast was started by Dr. Andre M. Landry, Jr. who contributed vital sea turtle research about the Kemp's ridley sea turtle before he retired from Texas A&M University at Galveston.
he Master Naturalists of the Galveston area have patrolled as volunteers since the beginning but funding is now cut for fueling the ATVs needed to cover beaches from Bolivar Peninsula to Surfside.
In 2008 when a $71,000 state grant for the patrols was cut, Dr. Landry
personally raised funding with help from Houston trial lawyer Joe Jamail.Jr.
» The Surf & River Report - environmental news for public television
"At this point, I can't say if any turtles have died due to oil from the rig explosion," says Andre Landry, Jr., a turtle expert at Texas A&M.
"That doesn't mean they haven't.
And it certainly does not mean that they won't.
Landry directs his college's sea turtle and fisheries ecology research laboratory.
When I reached him yesterday, Landry was still on the water, returning from a nesting patrol north of Galveston Island.
He hasn't spotted any ridley nests yet this year, but the season, which generally starts in early April, is just beginning.
It was delayed by a record cold snap this winter.
Although Landry didn't find any nests yesterday, he recovered two young ridleys -- both dead.
"We've had a rash of deaths here in Texas -- 30, probably approaching 40 turtles by now," he says.
"One of their favorite foraging spots is immediately west of the Mississippi River," says Landry
"If we have a wind or current change, we may see them fouled.
Oil in the water column (below the surface) isn't much danger to the turtles.
Unlike fish that get their oxygen from water, sea turtles breathe air.
The danger comes when they surface to breathe.
If they happen to surface in an oil slick, turtles are liable to swallow or inhale oil, which could be fatal.
focuses on another potentially more damaging problem caused by the oil: the destruction of the ecosystem.
"Kemp's ridleys eat crustaceans, primarily blue crabs," he
Stewart Beach and the Galveston Island ...
Stewart Beach and the Galveston Island State Park are home to three new signs honoring Dr. Andre M. Landry, Jr. of Texas A&M University at Galveston and Dr. Joe Flanagan, Senior Veterinarian of the Houston Zoo.
taught thousands of marine biology students before his
retirement last year as well as completing valuable research and starting the first sea turtle patrols on the Upper Texas Coast.
Interviews are shown with Andre M. ...
Interviews are shown with Andre M. Landry, Jr. of Texas A&M University at Galveston; Dr. Roger Zimmerman and Ben Higgins of the NOAA sea turtle facility and former resident Dr. Charles W. Caillouet with lots of beach scenes at Galveston and on the Texas coast.