Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Biology

Degree Name

Master of Science

Thesis Advisor

William Rogers

Committee Member

Janice Chism

Committee Member

Jennifer Schafer

Abstract

Loggerhead sea turtles are currently listed as vulnerable by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with a decreasing population trend. Over the past four years, coyotes (Canis latrans) have depredated 24.18% of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nests on the night they were laid on South Island beach at the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, near Georgetown, SC. This has resulted in an estimated 4,002 eggs lost each year there. Over that time, a South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Turtle Technician Team patrolled the beach at dawn every morning to cage and catalog loggerhead eggs and nests but were unable to cost-effectively protect the nests the night the eggs are laid. To test a new method to dissuade coyote depredation, I used dispensers filled with wolf urine to simulate timber wolf (Canis lupus) activity on seven sections of the beach and left seven sections untreated as controls.

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