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Monitoring design for quantification of marine turtle nesting with limited effort: a test case in the Guadeloupe archipelago

  • Eric Delcroix (a1), Sophie Bédel (a2), Gilhem Santelli (a2) and Marc Girondot (a3)

Abstract

The Guadeloupe archipelago hosts nesting of the threatened hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricata, green Chelonia mydas and leatherback Dermochelys coriacea marine turtles. There is a need to monitor the nesting of these species but, with > 150 beaches in the archipelago, exhaustive monitoring is infeasible. Using a new monitoring design and a new statistical tool we have been able to monitor one-third of the beaches. Seasonality and level of nesting were described for the three species for 2 years on > 50 beaches. For each species beaches were categorized as A- or B-beaches, with high and low nest density, respectively. A-beaches were monitored on 6–7 days per month before and after the peak nesting period and on 7–15 days during the peak, and the B-beaches on 14–22 days during the peak. The monitoring design and statistical tool are described in detail as they could be applied to any migratory species. Hawksbill turtles at Trois Ilets beach have been monitored for 9 years and a positive trend in nesting has been detected.

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Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail marc.girondot@u-psud.fr

References

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