The impacts of artificial light on marine turtles

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.

Aim: 
To examined the effect of artificial light on water on the near shore trajectories of turtle hatchlings dispersing from natal beaches.
Type of Study: 
Manipulative experiment
Key Results: 
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.
Response: 
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.
Reviewer: 
Michele Thums
Ecosystem: 
North West Cape, Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.
Full Reference: 
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.