Study

Experimentally testing nest site selection: Fitness trade-offs and predation risk in turtles

  • Published source details Spencer R.J. (2002) Experimentally testing nest site selection: Fitness trade-offs and predation risk in turtles. Ecology, 83, 2136-2144.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control predators using lethal controls: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Remove or control predators using lethal controls: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1996–2000 in an area with four lagoons in south-eastern Australia (Spencer 2002, same experimental set-up as Spencer & Thompson 2005) found that removing foxes Vulpes vulpes resulted in lower predation rates of Murray short-necked river turtle Emydura macquarii nests and changes in nesting behaviour compared to when foxes were present. Nest predation was lower after fox removal (<50% nests predated) compared to areas with no fox removal (>85%) and before fox removal started (85–93% of 12–29 nests predated). Following fox removal, turtles nested further from the water (25–26 m) compared to before removal and no-removal sites (14–19 m), and nests were more spread out (removal: 12–16 m between nests; no removal: 8–11 m). In May 1997 to January 1999, fox control was carried out at two lagoons by burying poison baits (35 g FOXOFF baits) along fence lines, hill ridges and access roads (150–200 m apart, 48 baits/site; laid every 1–2 months) and shooting foxes. A further two lagoons had no fox removal. Searches for turtle nests were conducted in November 1996–1998.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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