Study

Use of habanero pepper powder to reduce depredation of loggerhead sea turtle nests

  • Published source details Lamarre-DeJesus A.S. & Griffin C.R. (2013) Use of habanero pepper powder to reduce depredation of loggerhead sea turtle nests. Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 12, 262-267.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

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 chemical deterrents

    A replicated, controlled study in 2010 on a sandy beach in  South Carolina, USA (Lamarre-DeJesus & Griffin 2013) found that using habanero pepper Capsicum chinense powder to cover the surface of loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests resulted in reduced predation by coyotes Canis latrans compared to nests with pepper powder under the surface and nests with no pepper powder. The number of predated nests was lower for surface pepper treated nests (2 of 10, 20%) compared to nests with pepper under the surface of the sand (5 of 10, 50%) and nests with no pepper (6 of 10, 60%). A similar number of surface pepper treated nests were predated compared to nests covered with a screen (7 of 33, 21%). Nests were covered with 15 ml of habanero pepper powder on the surface of the nest (10 nests), below the surface and 3 cm above the eggs (10 nests) or were given no pepper powder (10 nests). A further 33 nests were covered with a plastic or metal screen (1 x 1 m). In June–July 2010, nests were monitored for complete or partial predation every 1–3 days, and a further 12 visits were made until September.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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

    A replicated, controlled study in 2010 on a sandy beach in South Carolina, USA (Lamarre-DeJesus & Griffin 2013) found that using screens to cover loggerhead turtle Caretta caretta nests resulted in reduced predation by coyotes Canis latrans compared to nests with no protection. The number of predated nests was lower for screened nests (7 of 33, 21%) compared to those with no cover (6 of 10, 60%). A similar number of screened nests were predated compared to nests covered with pepper powder on the surface (2 of 10, 20%), but nests with pepper powder below the surface had similar predation as those with no treatment (5 of 10, 50%). Thirty-three nests were covered with a plastic or metal screen (1 x 1 m), and 10 were given no screen. A further 10 nests were covered with 15 ml of habanero pepper Capsicum chinense powder on the surface of the nest, and 10 with pepper powder below the surface. In June–July 2010, nests were monitored for complete or partial predation every 1–3 days, and a further 12 visits were made until September.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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