The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas): mating, nesting and hatching on a farm

  • Published source details Simon M.H., Ulrich G.F. & Parkes A.S. (1975) The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas): mating, nesting and hatching on a farm. Journal of Zoology, 177, 411-423.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Breed reptiles in captivity: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Breed reptiles in captivity: Sea turtles

    A replicated, controlled study in 1969–1973 in a captive breeding facility and several sandy beaches in the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Surinam and Ascension Island (Simon et al. 1975) found that green turtles Chelonia mydas bred successfully in captivity, but hatching success was generally lower and numbers of infertile eggs higher compared to eggs taken from natural nests. Hatching success for artificially-incubated, captive-laid eggs was 42% (4,800 of 11,300 eggs) compared to 78% (76,000 of 97,300) for artificially-incubated wild-collected eggs and 88% (388 of 442) for undiscovered captive-laid eggs that incubated naturally in the breeding enclosure (result was not statistically tested). Overall, more captive-laid, artificially-incubated turtle eggs were infertile (5,800 of 11,300, 52%) than wild-collected eggs (17,500 of 97,300, 18%). By 1973, a captive facility with a sea-water breeding pool (61 x 27 m) and artificial sandy beach was stocked with 257 green turtles (captive-reared and wild-caught). Eggs laid in nests on the artificial beach (11,300 total eggs) and eggs laid in the wild in natural nests (17,500) on several beaches were collected and incubated in Styrofoam boxes (100 eggs/box, layered with muslin cloth and sand). Average incubation temperature was 28°C. Hatching success from all artificially-incubated eggs and eggs from four undiscovered captive-laid nests (442 total eggs) was evaluated after emergence.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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