Scientists fear for the world’s most endangered sea turtle as the Park Service cuts back

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“Every summer, thousands of people travel to Padre Island National Seashore at dawn to cheer on sea turtle hatchlings as they are released into the surf.

But after more than 40 years of supporting and celebrating the program, National Park Service officials appear to have soured on paying for it.

In a recent report, agency officials proposed sweeping changes to the park’s conservation efforts that scientists said would make it significantly more difficult, if not impossible, to establish a thriving population of Kemp’s ridley sea turtles on the island.

Lawyers with the nonprofit group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed a legal complaint on Wednesday 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. They called for the report to be rescinded, arguing that accepting its recommendations would violate the Endangered Species Act.”

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