Mid-incubation relocation and embryonic survival in loggerhead sea turtle eggs

  • Published source details Ahles N. & Milton S.L. (2016) Mid-incubation relocation and embryonic survival in loggerhead sea turtle eggs. Journal of Wildlife Management, 80, 430-437.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Relocate nests/eggs to a nearby natural setting (not including hatcheries): Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Relocate nests/eggs to a nearby natural setting (not including hatcheries): Sea turtles

    A controlled study in 2007 on a sandy beach in Florida, USA (Ahles & Milton 2016) found that relocating loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests more than 10 days after being laid reduced hatching and emergence success. Loggerhead turtle nests relocated >10 days after being laid had lower hatching (52%) and emergence success (47%) compared to nests relocated within 12 hours to native sand (hatching success:79%; emergence success: 68%) or restored beach (hatching success: 90%; emergence success: 87%), or compared to nests left in situ (hatching success: 85%; emergence success: 84%). Nests relocated within 12 hours to restored beach and native sand had statistically similar hatching success to nests left in situ, but emergence success of nests relocated to native sand was statistically lower than nests left in situ or relocated to restored beach. In May-June 2007, as part of post-storm beach restoration, 12 loggerhead turtle nests (1,429 eggs) were moved 10–38 days after being laid to a section of the beach with native sand. All new nests that were laid in the restoration zone were moved within 12 hours of deposition to native sand beach (63 nests; 7,563 eggs) or restored beach (43 nests; 5,155 eggs). Nests laid on the beach after restoration was complete were left in situ (86 nests; 9,921 eggs). All nests were monitored for hatching and emergence success.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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