Publication Date

2013-10-24

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2013-10-24

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Marine Affairs and Policy (Marine)

Date of Defense

2013-04-10

First Committee Member

David J Die

Second Committee Member

Maria Estevanez

Third Committee Member

Daniel Suman

Fourth Committee Member

Kate Mansfield

Abstract

Piezometers were installed along Keewaydin Island (KI) at 55 loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) nests to determine water levels within the egg chamber during eight to twelve hour sampling periods and the water’s effect upon embryonic development. Hatching success was calculated by excavating nests and determining the relative proportion of hatched to unhatched eggs. For unhatched eggs, we reported the embryonic stage at which development ceased. In 2012 approximately 46% of the variance in hatch success on Keewaydin Island was due to the inundation of nests. The hatching success of nests on Keewaydin decreased by 2.9% (s=13.5%) after one day of inundation, 27.2% after two days of inundation, and 77% (s= 16.8%) after three days of inundation relative to the hatching success of nests that were never inundated (86.6%, s=8.5%). Patterns in nest placement on KI were documented using Geographic Information Systems. Greatest inundations appeared to occur in INBS sections N-4 and S-5. Future management plans need to consider the effects of inundation on KI.

Keywords

loggerhead; Caretta caretta; inundation; embryonic development; sea turtle

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