Theses and Dissertations

Defense Date

7-28-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor

Derek Burkholder

Second Advisor

Jeremy Vaudo

Third Advisor

Kenneth Banks

Abstract

Sea turtles face many threats to their populations globally. Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List as Endangered. In Florida, loggerhead and green sea turtles nest along the coastline during April-September. Mechanical beach cleaning is an aesthetic service performed daily on some beaches in Florida to clean the wrack line and/or the entire beach of debris. Alterations made to beaches by methods such as mechanical beach cleaning have the potential to impact sea turtle nesting, hatching, and emergence success. Generalized linear mixed models were performed to investigate the impacts of mechanical beach cleaning on nesting, hatching and emergence success of loggerhead and green turtles from 1997-2015 in Broward County, Florida. The results showed mechanical beach cleaning had an effect on nesting success, however, hatching and emergence success were not affected by mechanical beach cleaning. These results indicate that mechanical beach cleaning cannot solely be used to determine sea turtle management or conservation guidelines in Broward County.

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