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Influence of nest site selection on predation of Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressus) eggs by Varanid Lizards in Northern Australia

Blamires, Sean John, Guinea, Michael Leonard and Prince, R. (2003). Influence of nest site selection on predation of Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressus) eggs by Varanid Lizards in Northern Australia. Chelonian Conservation and Biology,4(3):557-563.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Influence of nest site selection on predation of Flatback Sea Turtle (Natator depressus) eggs by Varanid Lizards in Northern Australia
Author Blamires, Sean John
Guinea, Michael Leonard
Prince, R.
Journal Name Chelonian Conservation and Biology
Publication Date 2003
Volume Number 4
Issue Number 3
ISSN 1071-8443   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 557
End Page 563
Total Pages 7
Place of Publication United States
Publisher Chelonian Research Foundation
Field of Research 0502 - Environmental Science and Management
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract We examined nest site selection of flatback sea turtles (Natator depressus) at two sites: Fog Bay, Northern Territory, and Mundabullangana, Western Australia. Nesting at Fog Bay occurred predominantly at the dune base. The dunes at Fog Bay are tall and steep, while the dune slopes at Mundabullangana are less severe and their crests are more accessible. Apart from afternoon nesting at Mundabullangana, N. depressus nesting procedure was similar at both sites: nesting around high tide, with reasonably direct crawls up the beach and the choice of nesting site unaffected by turtle size. At Fog Bay attempts to climb the dune usually resulted in no nesting and gradient of the dunes appeared to confine nesting to the dune base. At Fog Bay many nests were raided by the goanna, Varanus panoptes. There was no significant difference in natural egg predation on the dune base or slope at Fog Bay. An experiment, using hen’s eggs, showed simulated nests on the dune crest were raided more frequently than at the dune base, on both nesting and non-nesting beaches. Vision and chemoreception have been implicated as cues used by the goannas.
 
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