Estimating the effect of beach nourishment on Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle) nesting

  • Published source details Rumbold D.G., Davis P.W. & Perretta C. (2001) Estimating the effect of beach nourishment on Caretta caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle) nesting. Restoration Ecology, 9, 304-310.


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 controlled, before-and-after study in 1992–1996 of a beach in Florida, USA (Rumbold et al. 2001) found that raising the height of a beach ridge (‘beach nourishment’) decreased loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nesting frequency and increased the frequency of non-nesting crawls, although the effect reduced in the second year after implementation. In the first year after nourishment took place, sea turtle nesting frequency declined more, and non-nesting crawl frequency increased more on the nourished beach compared to unmodified beaches (nesting frequency declined by 4–5 nests/km/day more and non-nesting crawls increased by 5–6 crawls/km/day more on nourished beaches). In the second year, the reduction in nesting was again greater and the increase in non-nesting crawls higher on nourished compared to unmodified beaches, but the size of the effects were smaller and only statistically significant compared to one of the two unmodified beaches (nesting frequency declined by 1–2 nests/km/day more and non-nesting crawls increased by 1 crawl/km/day more on nourished beaches). In March and April 1995, a 1.6 km stretch of beach was nourished with additional sand, increasing the height of the beach ridge from an average of 32 m to 81 m. Sea turtle nesting activity was recorded daily from May to August from 1992 to 1996 at the nourished and two natural beaches three seasons prior to and two seasons immediately following beach nourishment.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, Katie Sainsbury)

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