Study

Effects of incubation technique on proxies for olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) neonate fitness

  • Published source details Hart C.E., Zavala-Norzagaray A.A., Benítez-Luna O., Plata-Rosas L.J., Abreu-Grobois F.A. & Ley-Quiñonez C.P. (2016) Effects of incubation technique on proxies for olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) neonate fitness. Amphibia-Reptilia, 37, 417-426.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Relocate nests/eggs for artificial incubation: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Relocate nests/eggs to a hatchery: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Relocate nests/eggs for artificial incubation: Sea turtles

    A randomized, controlled study in 2012–2013 on sandy beaches on the pacific coast of Mexico (Hart et al. 2016) found that relocating olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea nests for artificial incubation resulted in similar hatching success, but mixed effects on hatchling size and behaviours, compared to nests moved to on-beach hatcheries. Hatching success was similar for eggs artificially incubated (89% success) and placed in beach hatcheries (82% success). Polystyrene-box incubated hatchlings had smaller straight carapace length (39 mm) and slower crawl speeds (0.01 m/second) than those from beach hatcheries (length: 41 mm; crawl speed: 0.02 m/second). Carapace width, hatchling weight and righting response time were similar between polystyrene box and beach hatchery nests (see original paper for details). Eggs from 49 nests were moved to one of two treatments: embedded in sand in polystyrene boxes (16) or buried in an on-beach hatchery (33). Upon emergence and movement, 10 hatchlings were randomly chosen from each nest (489 individuals in total) for measuring, weighing and to take part in fitness tests.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Relocate nests/eggs to a hatchery: Sea turtles

    A randomized study in 2012–2013 on sandy beaches on the pacific coast of Mexico (Hart et al. 2016) found that relocating olive ridley turtle Lepidochelys olivacea nests to an on-beach hatchery resulted in similar hatching success compared to artificially incubating eggs in polystyrene boxes, although turtles from the hatchery had longer shells and faster crawl speeds. Hatching success was similar for nests in the hatchery (82%) and for those incubated in polystyrene-boxes (89% success). Hatchlings relocated to an on-beach hatchery had longer shells (41 mm straight carapace length) and faster crawl speeds (0.018 m/second) than those incubated in polystyrene boxes (length: 39 mm; crawl speed: 0.011 m/second). Carapace width, hatchling weight and righting response time were similar between hatchlings from the hatchery and polystyrene boxes (see original paper for details). In 2012–2013, eggs from 49 nests were moved to one of two treatments: buried in an on-beach hatchery (33 nests) or embedded in sand in polystyrene boxes (16 nests). Upon emergence and movement, ten hatchlings (489 individuals in total) were randomly chosen from each nest to measure size, weight, crawl speed and righting response.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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