Nesting Disturbance Study
Eleven loggerhead turtles were intercepted on the nesting beach prior to oviposition and equipped with radio transmitters. These turtles were intercepted a total of 65 times following initial instrumentation. Each time, the turtle was prevented from nesting, usually by just standing in front of her. The responses of the turtles were 1) relocate their nesting site 2) emerge more frequently, and 3) attempt nesting in unsuitable habitat. For several turtles this resulted in almost continuous attempts to emerge and nest during the fourth, fifth, or sixth night after instrumentation. While the frequency of emergences increased and the time and distance from emergence to attempted digging was reduced, the amount of disturbance required to cause an aborted emergence did not change dramatically. Activities on the beach which result in prolonged nesting intervals can result in nest site relocation and placement of nests in unsuitable areas.