Study

Evaluation of predator-exclusion cages used in turtle conservation: Cost analysis and effects on nest environment and proxies of hatchling fitness

  • Published source details Riley J.L. & Litzgus J.D. (2013) Evaluation of predator-exclusion cages used in turtle conservation: Cost analysis and effects on nest environment and proxies of hatchling fitness. Wildlife Research, 40, 499-511.

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

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2010–2011 at two lakes within mixed forest in Ontario, Canada (Riley & Litzgus 2013) found that covering painted turtle Chrysemys picta and snapping turtle Chelydra serpentine nests with one of three different cages did not affect hatching success compared to uncaged nests, and that cage design did not affect the number of predator interactions or successful predation events. For both species, hatching success was similar for caged (painted turtle: 69–79%; snapping turtle: 73–85%) and uncaged nests (painted turtle: 60%; snapping turtle: 73%). Comparisons of three cage types (uncaged nests not included) found that there was no significant difference between the number of predator interactions (above-ground cages: 14; below-ground: 16; wooden cage: 2) and successful predation attempts (above-ground cages: 3; below-ground: 1; wooden cage: 3). Nesting sites were monitored in May–June 2010 and June–July 2011. Nests were excavated and assigned to one of four treatments: above-ground wire cage (50 nests); below-ground wire cage (49 nests); above-ground wooden cage (24 nests); or no nest covering (41 nests). Wooden cages were used only in 2011. Predator interactions and successful predations were recorded throughout the nesting season and after hatchling emergence all hatchlings and unhatched eggs were counted.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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