The effect of screening and relocation on hatching and emergence success of loggerhead sea turtle nests at Sapelo Island, Georgia
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Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting beach management is an integral component of population recovery efforts for this internationally threatened species. In Georgia, nests threatened by tidal inundation are commonly relocated to elevated dunes, and screens are placed over nests to prevent depredation. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of nest relocation and nest screening on both hatching success (proportion of successfully hatched eggs) and emergence success (proportion of hatchlings successfully emerging from the egg chamber) at Sapelo Island, Georgia. Results suggest that high hatching and emergence success rates can be maintained on Sapelo Island without nest relocation. Predator screens do not appear to affect hatching or emergence success and should continue to be used to protect nests from depredation.