Effect of tagging marine turtles on nesting behaviour and reproductive success

  • Broderick A
  • Godley B
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Abstract

We studied green, Chelonia mydas, and loggerhead, Caretta caretta, turtles nesting on the island of Cyprus to determine the effects of flipper tagging on postovipositional behaviour and reproductive success. Tagging was undertaken immediately after oviposition (64 green turtles; 111 loggerheads). On 12 occasions, loggerheads immediately stopped covering the eggs and proceeded directly to the sea. No green turtles abandoned nesting. In all other cases, where sufficient data were collected, the duration of the two postovipositional phases of nesting behaviour (covering and camouflaging) and the speed of descent to the sea did not differ between tagged and untagged turtles. The durations of behaviours also did not differ between females not tagged, tagged once or tagged twice. There was no effect of tagging on the likelihood of hatching or on the hatching success of clutches in either species.

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Authors

  • Annette C. Broderick

  • Brendan J. Godley

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