Adapting coastal management to climate change: mitigating our shrinking shorelines

  • Published source details Martin S.A., Rautsaw R.M., Bolt R., Parkinson C.L. & Seigel R.A. (2017) Adapting coastal management to climate change: mitigating our shrinking shorelines. Journal of Wildlife Management, 81, 982-989.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Restore or maintain beaches (‘beach nourishment’)

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Restore or maintain beaches (‘beach nourishment’)

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2012–2016 on four sand dunes in Florida, USA (Martin et al. 2017) found that gopher tortoises Gopherus polyphemus colonized man-made sand dunes within three months of their construction, and densities were higher but occupancy of burrows similar compared to natural dunes. Overall, gopher tortoise density was higher on constructed sand dunes (2012 dune: 21 tortoises/ha; 2014 dune: 2–3) than natural dunes (0–8 tortoises/ha, see statistical model results in paper for more details). The first burrow on the dune built in 2014 was discovered three months after construction. Burrow occupancy rates were similar between dunes (2012 dune: 0.6 tortoises/burrow; 2014 dune: 0.4; natural dunes: 0.3). Gopher tortoise use of two natural and two constructed sand dunes (built in 2012 and 2014) was evaluated by surveying a 3 km long stretch of beach for tortoise burrows in May–August 2014 and 2015 (twice/year) and January 2015 and 2016 (once/year). Gopher tortoise burrow occupancy was assessed using cameras in 20 randomly selected burrows each January (one–two surveys/burrow). Resident tortoises were relocated during dune construction.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
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