Turtle Awareness and Protection Studies (TAPS)


2012 Research Update


June - November

Utila

During this part of the research summer, MS student, Lindsey Eggers Damazo began her studies by introducing her project and data collection methods to the staff and volunteers of the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA - Utila). Once familiar with the project, Lindsy worked with staff, BICA volunteers, and ProTECTOR Volunteers and Interns collecting information on the beach characteristics of Pumkin Hill Beac, as well as mapping the slopes, vegetation, and locations of nests along the beach.

Lindsey also collected information on nest temperatures of four nests and four false nests, to see what the temperature profiles of nests with eggs and nests without eggs would be throughout the incubation period. These were done to detect overall temperatures and to see if temperatures in nests would be different from false nests. This is important because turtles undergo temperature-dependent sex determination. Understanding how dynamic temperature changes impact natural nests is critical to understanding how global climate change may impact sea turtle nests, numbers, and sexes in the future.

One of the most exciting parts of Lindsey's project was the satellite tagging of the first two hawksbills ever tracked in Honduras.

 
Loma Linda University and ProTECTOR graduate student, Lindsey Damazo, facilitates a workshop and discussion on sea turtle biology with international volunteers, as well as her research work with nesting E. imbricata and hatchlings at the office of BICA Utila.   Campsite at Pumpkin Hill beach
Pumpkin Hill Beach   Lindsey Egars Damazo surveying
The length of Pumpkin Hill Beach on which a rapid survey was done to inform the detailed beach profiling and vegetation analysis.   Lindsey photographing beach vegetation for her vegetation survey.
Lindsey surveying   Lindsey Damazo
Lindsey surveying beach slope to understand characteristics of this hawksbill nesting beach   Research volunteer assisting Lindsey in her vegetation survey.
Lindsey/Amy/Robyn  
Lindsey Damazo, Amy Tan, and Robyn Reeve applying a sattelite tag to Ginger   Lindsey with tagged hawksbill "Ginger" on Pumpkin Hill Beach.
  Lindsey
Mugshot of hawksbill sea turtle Ginger during nesting.   Lindsey Damazo puting a thermometer in a recently laid nest .
  Lindsey Damazo
Lindsey Damazo and crew removing recently laid eggs for measurements.   Aliquot of freshly hatched hawksbill sea turtles.
Lindsey Damazo   Lindsey Damazo
A newly hatchted hawksbill sea turtle.   Prepping a hatchling for measurements.
Lindsey Damazo   Pollution Pumkin Beach
Hatchlings migrating from their nesting beach towards the ocean.   This is a section of the rocky beach over which turtles come ashore to nest and hatchlings must climb over to get to the water.
Pollution_PumpkinBeach    
Some of the pollution at one end of the nesting beach    

For a complete report on the TAPS activities for 2012 see PDF report here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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