Nest site selection by sea turtles

G. C. Hays, A. Mackay, C. R. Adams, J. A. Mortimer, J. R. Speakman, M. Boerema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


The distribution of 38 nests of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) on beaches on Sanibel and Captiva islands, south-western Florida (26°26'N 82°16’W), and of 70 first digging attempts by green turtles (Chelonia my das) on Ascension Island (7°57‘S 14°22’W), was quantified. For loggerhead turtles on Sanibel and Captiva, nests were clumped close to the border between the open sand and the supra-littoral vegetation that backed the beaches. This spatial pattern of nests was closely reproduced by assuming simply that turtles crawled a random distance above the most recent high water line prior to digging. In contrast, green turtles on Ascension Island clumped their first digging attempts on the uneven beach above the springs high water line, crawling up to 80 m to reach this beach zone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-674
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 1995


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