Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 23, Issue 4, 2017; Page No.(1816-1825)

THE EVALUATION OF NEST RELOCATION METHOD AS A CONSERVATION STRATEGY FOR SAVING SEA TURTLE POPULATIONS IN THE NORTH COAST OF MANOKWARI PAPUA BARAT PROVINCE INDONESIA

Ricardo F. Tapilatu

Abstract

A network of sea turtle conservation groups, under the scientific guidance of the Sea Turtle Protection Program of Research Center for Pacific Marine Resources – University of Papua, monitors and protects sea turtle nests laid on north Manokwari beaches. The group relocates freshly laid nests that are threatened by poachers and possible inundation by high tides. Nest relocation may have negative effects: it may reduce hatching success, alter sex ratio, and reduce hatchling fitness. Thus an evaluation of hatching success of relocated nests to hatcheries under the protection of the Papua Barat Sea Turtle Protection Program is warranted. Using 2015–2016 data, provided by the local sea turtle conservation group, hatching success of relocated nests was evaluated. The evaluation of hatching success showed a tendency of significant sea turtle hatchlings hatching from relocated nests in hatcheries. Results of the evaluation indicate that nest relocation is a viable option, however it is recommended to only relocate nests that are at a high risk from poaching, predation and erosion from high tides. Nest relocation recommendations with the evaluation results: use nest relocation as a current viable resort, only relocate nests that will be in high-risk due to poaching, predation and potential over-washed by high tides.

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