Date of Award
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Science
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.
Wauson, Michael, "A Test of the Use of Timber Wolf (Canis lupus) Urine to Reduce Coyote (Canis latrans) Depredation Rates on Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Nests" (2019). Graduate Theses. 108.