Texas Reserve Staff Keep Rescued Wildlife Out of Harm’s Way

Pre-Hurricane Harvey evacuation protected turtles, birds from reserve rehabilitation center.

turtles in a truck bed

Turtle Transport

After Hurricane Harvey had passed, Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve staff loaded up a pickup truck full of 30 safe-and-sound sea turtles and released them back to where they had come from, rehabilitated and unharmed. The remaining 30 were sent to the Texas Sealife Center in Corpus Christi for further rehabilitation and will be released over time.

In the days leading up to Hurricane Harvey, staff at Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Corpus Christi, Texas, had countless critical preparations to make—solidifying structures, protecting valuable equipment, and ensuring people and property were safe. All this, of course, was in addition to planning for the safety and evacuation of their own families.

"There was a 100 percent survival rate for the animals at the Amos Rehabilitation Keep."
— Reserve Manager Jace Tunnell

With everything to prepare for in the process, staff and volunteers also had to care for the wildlife living and being rehabilitated at the reserve's Amos Rehabilitation Keep. Rescued birds were transferred to another wildlife rehabilitation center, while preparations were made to keep the turtles that could not be relocated as safe as possible.

Once the storm had passed and it was possible to get the turtles, reserve staff loaded up a pickup truck full of 30 safe-and-sound sea turtles and released them back to where they had come from, rehabilitated and unharmed. The remaining 30 turtles were sent to the Texas Sealife Center in Corpus Christi for further rehabilitation, and will be released over time.

In the end, as reserve manager Jace Tunnell shared, "There was a 100 percent survival rate for the animals at the Amos Rehabilitation Keep."

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Did you know?

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 29 areas representing different biogeographic regions of the United States. The reserves are protected for long-term research, water quality and habitat monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. Each reserve is managed on a daily basis by a lead state agency or university, with input from local partners. NOAA provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.

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Last updated: 10/24/17
Author: NOAA
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