Study

Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: fifteen years of conservation

  • Published source details Boulon Jr R.H., Dutton P. & McDonald D.L. (1996) Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: fifteen years of conservation. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 2, 141-147.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Patrol or monitor nesting beaches

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

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

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Patrol or monitor nesting beaches

    A study in 1981–1994 on a sandy beach in St Croix, US Virgin Islands (Boulon et al. 1996) reported that when nightly beach patrols were carried out, incidents of poaching of leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nests declined. Results were not statistically tested. In 1981 when patrolling began, incidents of poaching were highest (11%); then ranged from 0–2% in 1982–1985; then remained at 0% from 1986–1994. The authors reported anecdotes that before the study began, poaching of nests approached 100% annually (no data presented). In 1981–1994 the beach was patrolled hourly between 20:00–05:00 h every night from 1 April until no new nests had been discovered for 10 days. In 1982–1994, all nests in erosion-prone areas were relocated to stable parts of the beach immediately after laying.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1981–1994 on a sandy beach in St Croix, US Virgin Islands (Boulon et al. 1996) found that relocating leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea nests away from erosion-prone areas lead to fewer nests being lost to erosion compared to when no nests were relocated, and variable hatching success in relocated compared undisturbed nests. Results were not statistically tested. In years when nests were relocated, 1–30% were lost to erosion (of 82–355 nests), whereas 48 of 119 (40%) were lost in the year in which no relocations took place. Hatching success was lower in relocated nests (51–69%) compared to undisturbed nests (57–76%) in 10 of 13 years. In 1982–1994, all nests in erosion-prone areas were relocated to stable parts of the beach immediately after laying. In 1981–1994 the beach was patrolled hourly between 20:00–05:00 h every night from 1st April until no new nests had not been discovered for 10 days. Nests were excavated several days following emergence to record hatching success.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

Output references
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