Study

Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal

  • Published source details O'Connor J.M., Limpus C.J., Hofmeister K.M., Allen B.L. & Burnett S.E. (2017) Anti-predator meshing may provide greater protection for sea turtle nests than predator removal. PLoS ONE, 12, e0171831.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using artificial nest covers: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using artificial nest covers: Sea turtles

    A replicated, controlled study in 2005–2014 on eight mostly connected beaches in Queensland, Australia (O’Connor et al. 2017) found that sea turtle nests covered with mesh were predated less frequently than those not covered during five years when fox Vulpes vulpes control was being carried out, but a similar amount during the following five years when foxes were not controlled. In 2005–2009 when foxes were being controlled, nests covered with mesh were predated less frequently (4–28% of 18–56 nests) than those without mesh (43–100% of 7–13 nests). In 2010–2014 when foxes were not controlled, overall predation of nests was very low, and a similar number of covered (0–4% of 25–51 nests) and uncovered nests were predated (0–25% of 0–5 nests). In 2005–2014, meshing (plastic or aluminium) was used to cover all sea turtle nests that were discovered (18–56 nests/year). A number of other nests were not discovered until after hatching and so were not covered with mesh (0–13 nests/year). In 2005–2009, a total of 19 foxes were trapped and euthanized, and a number of fox dens were fumigated (number not given). No formal fox control occurred in 2010–2014, though three foxes were removed from the area for unrelated reasons. Nests were monitored continuously throughout November–April and predation of nests by foxes was recorded.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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