Study

How Best to Protect the Nests of the Endangered Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta from Monitor Lizard Predation

  • Published source details Lei J. & Booth D.T. (2017) How Best to Protect the Nests of the Endangered Loggerhead Turtle Caretta caretta from Monitor Lizard Predation. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 16, 246-249.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using visual deterrents

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using chemical deterrents

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

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 visual deterrents

    A replicated, controlled study in 2014–2015 at one beach in south-eastern Queensland, Australia (Lei & Booth 2017) found that using red flags as a visual deterrent to predators of loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests did not reduce nest predation. The number of predated nests did not differ significantly between those marked with red flags (7 out of 10) and those marked with wooden stakes (10 out of 11). Yellow-spotted goannas Varanus panoptes were the most common predator of nests. In May 2014–June 2015, ten nests were each marked with a bright red canvas flag (30 x 40 cm) mounted on a 1.2 m high stake inserted 50 cm into the sand, 30 cm to the side of the nest. A further 11 nests were marked with only a wooden stake. All nests were visited daily in early December to the end of February 2014–2016 to record predation events.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

  2. Protect nests and nesting sites from predation using chemical deterrents

    A replicated, controlled study in 2014–2016 at one beach in south-eastern Queensland, Australia (Lei & Booth 2017) found that applying hot chilli pepper over loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests did not reduce nest predation. The number of predated nests did not differ significantly between those with chilli powder and those without chilli in 2014–2015 (chilli: 6 of 10, 60%; no chilli: 10 of 11, 91%) and 2015–2016 (chilli: 6 of 15, 40%; no chilli: 2 of 16, 13%). Yellow-spotted goannas Varanus panoptes were the most common predator of nests. In May 2014–June 2015, ten nests each had 40 g of hot chilli powder applied to a 0.5 x 0.5 m area over the top at a depth of 10–20 cm and a further 11 nests had no chilli applied. In 2015–2016 (months not stated), 15 nests had chilli applied and 16 nests had no chilli applied. Each nest was visited daily in early December–February 2014–2016 to record predation events.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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

    A replicated, controlled study in 2014–2016 at one beach in south-eastern Queensland, Australia (Lei & Booth 2017) found that using aluminium cages or plastic mesh to cover loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests from yellow-spotted goanna Varanus panoptes predation led to lower nest predation in one of two years. In 2014–2015, predation was lower in nests covered in plastic mesh (2 out of 11) and aluminium cages (5 out of 10), compared to nests with no covering (10 out of 11). In 2015–2016, predation did not differ significantly between nests covered in plastic mesh (0 out of 15) and nests with no covering (2 out of 16). In May 2014–June 2015, ten nests were covered with aluminium cages, 11 with plastic mesh, and 11 nests had no covering. In June–July 2015–2016, fifteen nests were covered with plastic mesh and 16 nests had no covering. Aluminium or plastic covers were buried over the top of the nest at a depth of 10–20 cm. Each nest was visited daily in early December to the end of February 2014–2016 to record predation events.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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