All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
Thesis - NSU Access Only
M.S. Marine Environmental Sciences
Curtis M. Burney
Edward O. Keith
Light pollution is any excessive or obtrusive man made light source which disrupts the natural environment. Hatchling marine turtles are adversely affected by light pollution and therefore unlit nesting beaches are essential habitats for all marine turtle species. In Broward County, the most significant conservation issue facing nesting and hatchling marine turtles is the amount of light pollution present on urban sea turtle nesting beaches. The reduction of hatchling mortality from light pollution is an ongoing conservation goal of the State of Florida, Broward County, and the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Project (BCSTCP). Conservation techniques and policies intended to reduce hatchling mortality due to light pollution in Broward County have included: mass nest relocation using restraining and self release hatcheries, limited individual relocation of nests, and lighting ordnances in coastal municipalities. Until the 2006 sea turtle nesting season the BCSTCP utilized a mass relocation scheme which removed nests from unsafe and well lighted beach areas to other hatching areas which were not as severely impacted by light pollution. In 2006 the use of hatcheries was phased out and only limited relocation continued. Along with limited relocation, municipalities were strongly encouraged to reduce light pollution.
Comparisons will be made based on the 2003-2008 nesting seasons determine which policies and conservation tools were the most effective at reducing hatchling mortality due to light pollution. This study tested the following hypotheses: (1) there has been no significant decrease in light pollution in Broward County, (2) there has been no significant decrease in disoriented hatchlings on Broward County beaches, (3) recent changes to relocation techniques have not improved hatchling production with in Broward County. Results showed that the despite efforts by municipalities no overall reduction in light pollution has occurred. Initially hatchling disorientation events and the number of disoriented hatchlings increased after the policy change but have decreased during the most recent nesting season. Limited relocation yields a higher hatchling success rate then mass relocation. Although some improvements have been made light pollution control and reduction is still needed in order to reduce the accidental deaths of hatchlings due to disorientation.
Megan Wilson. 2009. An Analysis of Policies and Conservation Techniques to Reduce the Accidental Deaths of Sea Turtle Hatchlings due to Light Pollution in Broward County, FL.. Master's thesis. Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved from NSUWorks, Oceanographic Center. (224)
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid nova.edu OR mynsu.nova.edu email address and create an account for NSUWorks.
If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.