Study

Egg failure in natural and relocated sea turtle nests

  • Published source details Wyneken J., Burke T.J., Salmon M. & Pedersen D.K. (1988) Egg failure in natural and relocated sea turtle nests. Journal of Herpetology, 22, 88–96.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Relocate nests/eggs to a hatchery: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Relocate nests/eggs to a nearby natural setting (not including hatcheries): Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Relocate nests/eggs for artificial incubation: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Relocate nests/eggs to a hatchery: Sea turtles

    A replicated study in 1983 on a sandy beach in Georgia, USA (Wyneken et al. 1988) found that relocating loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests to a hatchery resulted in similar hatching success compared to eggs relocated for artificial incubation. Hatching success was similar for eggs relocated to a hatchery (3,608 of 5,100, 71% of eggs hatched) and artificially incubated eggs (135 of 163, 83% of eggs hatched). Nine of 50 relocated clutches (18%) were partially destroyed by ghost crab Ocypode quadrata predation, cold weather or drifting sand. In 1983, all loggerhead turtle nests on one beach (53 nests) were relocated due to risk of total failure (due to predators, storm tides or poachers). Fifty clutches were reburied in hand-dug nests in a fenced area on a nearby dune and three clutches were placed in glass-fronted polystyrene incubators (38 x 38 x 19 cm). Hatching success was assessed after hatchlings emerged.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

  2. Relocate nests/eggs to a nearby natural setting (not including hatcheries): Sea turtles

    A replicated, controlled study in 1984 on a sandy beach in Florida, USA (Wyneken et al. 1988) found that relocating loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests to other locations on the beach or for artificial incubation resulted in higher hatching success compared to nests left in place (but protected from predation). Hatching success was higher for relocated nests (1,054 of 1,151 eggs, 92% hatched from 10 nests) compared to nests left in place (2,400 of 2,796 eggs, 87% hatched from 24 nests). Hatching success did not differ for relocated nests that were reburied (543 of 588, 92% hatched from 5 nests) or artificially incubated (511 of 563 eggs, 91% hatched from 5 nests). Six nests left in place were lost to the tide or vandalism. Ten nests at risk from predation or tides were reburied in another part of the beach (five clutches) or were incubated in polystyrene boxes with sand (38 x 38 x 19 cm). A further 31 nests were screened to prevent predation and left in place. Hatching success was assessed following emergence of hatchlings.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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

    A replicated study in 1983–1984 on two sandy beaches in Florida and Georgia, USA (Wyneken et al. 1988) found that loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests relocated to incubators had similar hatching success compared to eggs reburied in an on-beach hatchery. Hatching success was similar for artificially incubated eggs (135 of 163, 83% of eggs hatched) and eggs relocated to a hatchery (3,608 of 5,100, 71% of eggs hatched). An additional five nests from another beach had similar hatching success (543 of 588, 92% hatched from 5 nests) (result was not statistically tested). Nine of 50 relocated clutches (18%) were partially destroyed by ghost crab Ocypode quadrata predation, cold weather or drifting sand. In 1983, all loggerhead nests on one beach (53 nests) were relocated due to risk of total failure (predators, storm tides, poachers). Three clutches were placed in glass-fronted polystyrene incubators (38 x 38 x 19 cm) and 50 clutches were reburied in hand-dug nests in a fenced area on a nearby dune. In 1984, five nests from a second beach were relocated for artificial incubation. Hatching success was assessed following emergence of hatchlings.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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