Decreased nest mortality for the Carolina diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin centrata) following removal of Raccoons (Procyon lotor) from a nesting beach in Northeastern Florida
Raccoons (Procyon lotor) can account for > 90% of nest failures of the Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) in some areas. Previous studies have demonstrated that predator removal can decrease predation of turtle nests, thus increasing nest survivorship. We removed Raccoons from an island beach used by Diamondback Terrapins for nesting in northeastern Florida. Prior to predator removal, Raccoons depredated 53.5% of monitored nests and 80% of all nests found in 1997 and 50.9% of monitored nests and 76.0% of all nests found in 2000 on this island beach. We removed 29 Raccoons between February and September 2005 and monitored Diamondback Terrapin nesting from 25 April to 31 October 2005. Nest predation by Raccoons dropped to 12.0% and the overall predation rate fell to 17.2%. We again monitored the nesting beach in 2006 without predator removal. Nest predation by Raccoons was once again very high, claiming 86.7% of monitored nests and over 70.0% of all the nests found. © 2012. Eric C. Munscher. All Rights Reserved.
Herpetological Conservation and Biology
Munscher, E.C., Kuhns, E.H., Cox, C.A., Butler, J.A. (2012) Decreased nest mortality for the Carolina diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin centrata) following removal of Raccoons (Procyon lotor) from a nesting beach in Northeastern Florida. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 7(2), 176-184.