Predator exclusion cage for turtle nests: a novel design

  • Published source details Buzuleciu S.A., Spencer M.E. & Parker S.L. (2015) Predator exclusion cage for turtle nests: a novel design. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 14, 196-201.


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, controlled study in 2013 in three estuarine sites in South Carolina, USA (Buzuleciu et al. 2015) found that covering artificial turtle nests with one of three cage designs resulted in less predation by raccoons Procyon lotor compared to when no nest cover was used. In a comparison between three cage designs, the “birdcage” design was more effective at preventing predation (0 of 4 nests predated) than a metal cage, (2 of 4) plastic cage (4 of 4) or no cage (4 of 4). Two further trials with the “birdcage” design found that artificial nests covered with the cage were predated less than nests with no cage (cage: 0 of 8, 100% and 25 of 84, 30% predated; no cage: 8 of 8, 100% and 71 of 84, 85%). Sixteen simulated nests were created at a diamondback terrapin Malaclemys terrapin nesting site by digging and immediately refilling a nest-sized hole. Three cage designs were used to cover four nests each, and four nests received no cover. Two further trials tested the “birdcage” design against no nest cover (trial 1: 8 caged, 8 un-caged; trail 2: 84 caged, 84 un-caged). Artificial nests were left for 48 hours and predation attempts were recorded.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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