Endangered turtles facing a new threat: budget cuts

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“Decades of conservation efforts have brought the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles back from the brink of extinction.

It now looks like their future may be in peril once again.

The National Park Service is proposing massive cuts in conservation officers. It’s a change that could have a devastating impact on the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle population, which has adopted the Padre Island National Seashore as one of its spawning grounds.

Over the decades, the federal government has increased the turtle conservation program’s funding and researchers have secured millions of dollars to support their work. That funding is now in jeopardy. In a recently released report, agency officials questioned the need for continued funding of the conservation efforts at previous levels given the program’s success.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility has filed a legal complaint with the National Park Service on behalf of one of the park’s employees, Donna Shaver, chief of the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program. The complaint seeks to have the report rescinded on the grounds that its recommendations violate the Endangered Species Act.”

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