Impact on predation of sea turtle nests when predator control was removed midway through the nesting season

  • Published source details Engeman R.M., Martin R.E., Smith H.T., Woolard J., Crady C.K., Constantin B., Stahl M. & Groninger N.P. (2006) Impact on predation of sea turtle nests when predator control was removed midway through the nesting season. Wildlife Research, 33, 187-192.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove or control predators using lethal controls: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Remove or control predators using lethal controls: Sea turtles

    A before-and-after study in 2002–2004 on a sandy beach in Florida, USA (Engeman et al. 2006) found that disruptions to the control of raccoons Procyon lotor and invasive armadillos Dasypus novemcinctus resulted in reduced survival of loggerhead Caretta caretta, leatherback Dermochelys coriacea and green turtle Chelonia mydas nests due to predation. In 2002–2004, months when predator control was consistent across all years (May), nest survival was similar (>80% after 80 days). However, disruptions to control in June 2004 resulted in lower survival for nests laid in June–July 2004 (60–70% after 60–80 days) compared to June–July 2002–2003 (>80% after 60–80 days). In 2002–2004, raccoons were live trapped and killed, and both raccoons and armadillos were shot (0.22 calibre rifle with a noise suppressor and night-vision equipment). In 2004, predator control ceased for 2 weeks in June, re-started in July, and then ended completely in August. The beach was monitored daily starting in March 2002–2004, and all leatherback and green turtle nests were marked, but only every eighth loggerhead nest marked and monitored.  Marked nests were monitored daily for predation and excavated after hatchling emergence to assess hatching success.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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