Aggregations of olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea Eschscholtz, 1829) nests leads to increased human predation during an arribada event

Gregory Russell Ruthig

Abstract


At Playa Ostional, Costa Rica, we related the spatial density of recently laid olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) nests to their likelihood of being predated by animals or humans. We conducted surveys once following an arribada (mass breeding) event, and once when females were nesting individually (non-arribada). Nests laid during the arribada were spatially aggregated along the beach, whereas nests on the non-arribada night were laid randomly along the beach. There was no association between spatial density and success of nests laid in the non-arribada night, but in the arribada night, nests that were laid in higher densities were more heavily depredated by humans.


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