Study

Nesting mounds with protective boxes and an electric wire as tools to mitigate diamond-backed terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) nest predation

  • Published source details Quinn D.P., Kaylor S.M., Norton T.M. & Buhlmann K.A. (2015) Nesting mounds with protective boxes and an electric wire as tools to mitigate diamond-backed terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) nest predation. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 10, 969-977.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using artificial nest covers: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Create artificial nests or nesting sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using artificial nest covers: Tortoises, terrapins, side-necked & softshell turtles

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2013–2014 on an island site between a saltmarsh and road in Georgia, USA (Quinn et al. 2015) found that electrified nest boxes provided more protection for diamondback terrapin Malaciemys terrapin nests from predation than a nest box alone. Fewer nests laid under nest boxes with an electric wire were predated (1 of 27 nests found) compared to those under nest boxes with no wire (16 of 16 nests found). Nests laid on the artificial nest mound yielded at least 203 hatchlings. An artificial nesting mound (22.9 m long × 3.6 m wide × 1.2 m tall) was constructed using dredge material along the shoulder of an 8.7 km causeway leading to the island. On top of the mound were placed six nest boxes (3.7 x 1.2 x 0.6 m) with a ground-level 9 cm horizontal gap to allow terrapins access but to exclude predators. For 35 days from May–June 2013, one nest box was modified to include a battery-powered electric wire along the horizontal gap opening and for 26 days from June–July 2013, all six nest boxes had electric wires. The mound was excavated to find nests and hatched eggs in November 2013 and April 2014.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

  2. Create artificial nests or nesting sites

    A replicated study in 2013–2014 on an island site between a saltmarsh and road in Georgia, USA (Quinn et al. 2015) found that diamondback terrapins Malaclemys terrapin made use of artificial nest mounds, and an electrified nest box provided more protection from predation than a nest box alone. At least 37 nests were laid in nest mounds (number of confirmed nests from table), yielding at least 203 hatchlings. Fewer nests laid under a nest box with an electric wire were predated (1 of 27 nests found) compared to those under a nest box with no wire (16 of 16 nests found). An artificial nesting mound (22.9 m long × 3.6 m wide × 1.2 m tall) was constructed using dredge material along the shoulder of an 8.7 km causeway leading to the island. On top of the mound were placed six nest boxes (3.7 x 1.2 x 0.6 m) with a ground-level 9 cm horizontal gap to allow terrapins access but to exclude predators. For 35 days from May–June 2013, one nest box was modified to include a battery-powered electric wire along the horizontal gap opening and for 26 days from June–July 2013, all six nest boxes had electric wires. The mound was excavated to find nests and hatched eggs in November 2013 and April 2014.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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