Study

Assessing the efficacy of direct conservation interventions: clutch protection of the leatherback marine turtle in the Dominican Republic

  • Published source details Revuelta O., León Y.M., Broderick A.C., Feliz P., Godley B.J., Balbuena J.A., Mason A., Poulton K., Savoré S., Raga J.A. & Tomás J. (2015) Assessing the efficacy of direct conservation interventions: clutch protection of the leatherback marine turtle in the Dominican Republic. Oryx, 49, 677-686.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Patrol or monitor nesting beaches

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Relocate nests/eggs for artificial incubation: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Patrol or monitor nesting beaches

    A replicated, controlled study in 2008–2009 on five sandy beaches in southwest Dominican Republic (Revuelta et al. 2015) found that when beaches were patrolled regularly during the nesting season, leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nest hatching success was higher than when nests were relocated for artificial incubation. Results were not statistically tested. Over two years, hatching success of nests left in situ on a beach with limited human access and regular night patrols was 74–85% compared to 34–58% for nests moved to hatcheries. Eggs were relocated from five beaches in a national park (1,374 km2). In March–August 2008–2009, the beaches were surveyed during the day and night for signs of nesting (daily – at least every other week) and nests were relocated. On beaches with high pressure of illegal collecting, 35 nests (all nests found) were relocated. On beaches with more limited human access, 31 nests were relocated and 43 were left in situ and monitored to hatching. Eggs from relocated nests were placed with sand in polystyrene boxes and moved to wooden huts near the nesting beaches. On beaches where nests were left in situ, nightly patrols were carried out by government rangers 2–3 nights/week in April–May. Beaches with all nests relocated were also patrolled regularly at night, but as all nests were removed from these beaches, no in situ results were reported.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Relocate nests/eggs for artificial incubation: Sea turtles

    A replicated, controlled study in 2006–2010 on five sandy beaches in southwest Dominican Republic (Revuelta et al. 2015) found that leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nests relocated for artificial incubation tended to have lower hatching rates than nests left in situ on a beach that was patrolled by park rangers. Results were not statistically tested. Over two years, nests relocated for artificial incubation tended to have lower hatching success (east hatchery: 51–58%; west hatchery: 34–43%) than nests left in situ (74–85%). In March–August 2008–2009, nests were relocated from three beaches in the east (35 nests) and two in the west (31 nests) of a national park (1,374 km2). On western beaches, which had limited human access, 43 nests were left in place and monitored to hatching. Eggs from relocated nests were placed polystyrene boxes with sand and moved to nearby hatcheries (one in the east, one in the west, enclosed wooden barracks with concrete floor and metal roof). On the western beaches where nests were left in situ, nightly patrols were carried out by government rangers 2–3 nights/week in April–May.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
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