Authors

Rachel Daddona

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Abstract

This study provides an overview of sea turtle nests and nesting activity in Biscayne National Park (BNP) during the 2012 sea turtle nesting season. Published literature stresses the importance of threatened and endangered sea turtle conservation and the natural and anthropogenic challenges that these reptiles face in the marine environment, especially on nesting beaches. The BNP sea turtle monitoring program includes foot patrols of nesting beaches on Elliott Key, Florida, mitigation of impacts from humans and predators, and sea turtle stranding response and outreach. Seven loggerhead nests were documented during the 2012 sea turtle nesting season, six of which were partially or fully predated. The 21.8% hatchling emergence success rate and 41.9% egg predation rate are consistent with other published literature but also suggest that there is room for improvement with the management of nests and the mitigation of predators on Elliott Key. Suggestions for improved management of sea turtle nests in Biscayne National Park include increasing the duration of the nest monitoring program and the frequency of patrols to mitigate depredation effects, employing more proactive measures for predator control, and educating recreational boaters within park boundaries.

Comments

Department: MBF

MPS Track: MMS

Location: Biscayne National Park (Homestead, FL)

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