In marine turtles the selection of oviposition habitat is a key determinant of offspring success. I investigated which environmental features influenced the nesting activity and nest distribution of the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata by daily monitoring of a rookery on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, in Qatar. I mapped the distribution of turtle nests and unsuccessful nesting attempts and measured key beach features. Data were analysed using autoregressive models, a specific regression technique dealing with spatial autocorrelation. Distribution of nests and unsuccessful nesting attempts were strongly spatially autocorrelated. In some areas almost all the turtles that approached the beach excavated a nest, whereas in other areas nesting was scarce but many unsuccessful attempts were observed. Turtle activity was lower in areas with a steep coastline and high rock cover. Nest density was higher on beaches with a low slope and little rock cover, and with soft soil and high vegetation cover. The density of unsuccessful nesting attempts was higher in areas with hard soil and low vegetation cover. These results are relevant for the management and restoration of nesting areas for this Critically Endangered species.
|Titolo:||The influence of beach features on nesting of the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata in the Arabian Gulf|
FICETOLA, GENTILE FRANCESCO (Primo)
|Parole Chiave:||Arabian Gulf; Coastline accessibility; Eretmochelys imbricata; Hawksbill turtle; Nest site selection; Qatar; Vegetation; Ecology|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/05 - Zoologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1017/S0030605307000543|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|