Egg Failure in Natural and Relocated Sea Turtle Nests

  • Wyneken J
  • Burke T
  • Salmon M
 et al. 
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Abstract

Eggs of the loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta caretta, often fail to hatch. Infertility and embryonic mortality were investigated as sources of egg failure, showing that standard methods of estimating infertility of eggs produce overestimates. High species diversity of bacteria within eggs or the occurrence of the same bacteria in both females and their eggs was correlated with lower hatching success. Comparisons of hatching success were made among natural nests and two commonly used methods of egg relocation. Eggs relocated to polystyrene incubators had higher hatching success than did eggs reburied in other beach sites. Eggs in undisturbed natural nests had lower hatching success than relocated eggs. Thus, egg relocation is an effective conservation method, provided sites are chosen carefully. CR - Copyright © 1988 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

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Authors

  • J Wyneken

  • T J Burke

  • M Salmon

  • D K Pedersen

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