Restore beaches

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of restoring beaches on reptile populations. This study was in the USA.



  • Reproductive success (1 study): One controlled, before-and-after study in the USA found that removing beach debris from one section of beach did not increase nesting success in that section.


  • Use (1 study): One controlled, before-and-after study in the USA found that after the removal of beach debris from one of three beach sections, a higher percentage of both the total nests laid and failed nesting attempts occurred in that section.

About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A controlled, before-and-after study in 2011–2014 on a beach in north-west Florida, USA (Fujisaki & Lamont 2016) found that restoring a beach by removing debris (man-made and natural) increased both the percentage of total loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests laid and failed nesting attempts in the restored section, and that nesting success remained similar when debris was left in place. The percentage of total nests that were laid in the beach section cleared of debris increased after removal (27 of 84 nests, 32%) compared to before (9 of 74 nests, 12%), whereas the percentage of total nests laid in the two no-removal sections decreased in one case (after: 15%; before: 32%) and stayed the same in the other (after: 52%; before: 58%). The percentage of failed nesting attempts (‘false crawls’) in the beach section cleared of debris also increased after removal (45 of 131 crawls, 34%) compared to before (29 of 170 crawls, 17%), and decreased in the two no-removal sections (after: 15–50%; before: 25–58%). Nest success rate was similar after debris removal (after: 38% success; before: 24% success). The beach (5.7 km total length) was divided into three sections that initially had natural debris only (1.3 km long); man-made and natural debris (1.7 km long, ‘middle’); or comparatively little debris (2.7 km long). All man-made (concrete, pipes, metal fencing) and natural (fallen trees and stumps due to erosion of an adjacent pine forest) debris were recorded (June–December 2012) and removed from the middle section only in December 2012. Nesting activity was monitored on all three beach sections daily in May–September 2011–2014 (two years before and after removal). 

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Sainsbury K.A., Morgan W.H., Watson M., Rotem G., Bouskila A., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Reptile Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for reptiles. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

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