Turtle Awareness and Protection Studies (TAPS)
June - November
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.
For a complete report on the TAPS activities for 2012 see PDF report here.