Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Major

Natural Sciences - Divisional

Research Sponsor

Dr. Brian Bagatto

First Reader

Dr. Quin Liu

Second Reader

Dr. Leah Shriver

Abstract

Listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the Olive Ridley sea turtle contributes to the stability of an ecosystem by transferring nutrients and energy to both the terrestrial and oceanic environment [1]. Costa Rica holds some of the most prominent nesting beaches for Olive Ridley sea turtles in the World. Collection and relocation of surveyed nests to monitored hatcheries increases the success rate significantly [2]. Realistically, nest and hatchling protection against land-based threats such as poaching, predation and beach erosion is a practical and accessible conservation measure. Facilitated by access to the sea turtle hatchery at the Playa Junquillal field station, Verdiazul, Costa Rica, the purpose of this study was to analyze and compare development and hatching success to incubation time and clutch size for collected and relocated turtle nests. Though brief in duration the study marks an important contribution to conservation efforts for the endangered turtle species and preservation of the positive impacts they have on the oceanic and terrestrial environments.

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