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SCCF participating in FAU sea turtle research program

By Staff | Aug 21, 2010

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s sea turtle research and monitoring program has been busy with more than just monitoring nests this year. For the fourth and final year, it is participating in a research study conducted by Dr. Jeannette Wyneken of Florida Atlantic University to determine how nest temperature affects the sex of sea turtle hatchlings.
Preliminary data shows that Sanibel produces a greater ratio of male sea turtles.
To conduct the study, the temperature of 10 nests island-wide is monitored from the morning after a nest is laid until it hatches. This is done by placing a temperature sensor into the egg chamber, then placing a cage over the nest to catch all of the hatchlings.
Ten hatchlings from each research nest are raised for approximately two months in Dr. Wyneken’s lab. The remaining hatchlings are all released into the Gulf.
The sex of each of the 10 hatchlings is determined before being released.
You can learn more about the sea turtles that nest on the islands’ beaches at Thursday morning’s Turtle Tracks, held at 9 a.m., at the SCCF Nature Center, located at 3333 Sanibel-Captiva Road on Sanibel.
For additional information about the program or others offered, call the SCCG at 472-2329.