The nesting ecology of sea turtles
Mascovich, Kathryn Ann
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An effective beach management plan (BMP) must focus on the beach habitat, infrastructure, and users (people). Here we studied how a BMP for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) can be shaped. We looked at the factors influencing sea turtle nest success, finding that erosional habitats and maximum nest temperatures influence hatch success. We additionally investigated how to work with the beachfront infrastructure to minimize the threat that lights pose to nesting and hatching sea turtles. We found that an educational rack card designed to promote sea turtle-friendly lighting choices for hotel guests was not effective. Finally, we looked at two different types of education programs to determine their effectiveness at changing participants’ behaviors to be more environmentally friendly. With no difference in the short-term outcomes, we recommend that organizations consider the cost and feasibility of these two program delivery methods when choosing between program types.