To examined the effect of artificial light on water on the near shore trajectories of turtle hatchlings dispersing from natal beaches.
Type of Study:
Turtle hatchlings dispersing from shore are influencedby artificial light. 88% of individuals swam towards the experimental lights on a boat at anchor and spent, on average, 23% more time in the nearshore zone than under ambient light conditions, potentially increasing their risk of predation.
The reported impacts of artificial light on dispersing turtle hatchlings results should be considered when planning and implementing developments near marine turtle nesting beaches and also for existing development.
North West Cape, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.
Thums M., Whiting S. D., Reisser J., Pendoley K. L., Pattiaratchi C. B., Proietti M., Hetzel Y., Fisher R. & Meekan M. G. (2016) Artificial light on water attracts turtle hatchlings during their near shore transit. Royal Society Open Science 3, 160142.