Title

The Effects of Light Pollution on the Nesting Behaviors of Turtles

School Name

Chapin High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Environmental Science

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that artificial light pollution negatively impacts sea turtles’, specifically loggerhead (C. Caretta), nest distribution. However, current research has not explored how light pollution impacts false crawls, which can lead to the loss of turtle eggs. Due to the loggerhead sea turtle’s declining population, it is important to explore the risks that threaten the species. Specifically on South Carolina beaches, loggerhead sea turtles are the most prominent nesting species. From May 1 to October 31, 2021, nesting data of sea turtles, all of which were loggerheads, were collected on Kiawah Island, South Carolina by the Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol. This data was retrieved from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in January of 2022. In November 2021, light values were collected by the researcher using a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter-L (SQM-L) every 0.1 mile increment for approximately 6.8 miles of Kiawah Island. The beach was broken down into 68 zones. For every zone, a light value was recorded and a corresponding amount of nests and amount of false crawls that occurred in that zone were recorded. To examine the impact of artificial light pollution on multiple aspects of loggerhead nesting, multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. Both statistical analyses produced insignificant results with a p-value of 0.934 for false crawl distribution and a p-value of 0.058 for nest distribution. Therefore, a relationship cannot be determined between either variables. This could suggest the effectiveness of lighting regulations currently implemented on Kiawah Island.

Location

HSS 215

Start Date

4-2-2022 10:15 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Apr 2nd, 10:15 AM

The Effects of Light Pollution on the Nesting Behaviors of Turtles

HSS 215

Previous research has suggested that artificial light pollution negatively impacts sea turtles’, specifically loggerhead (C. Caretta), nest distribution. However, current research has not explored how light pollution impacts false crawls, which can lead to the loss of turtle eggs. Due to the loggerhead sea turtle’s declining population, it is important to explore the risks that threaten the species. Specifically on South Carolina beaches, loggerhead sea turtles are the most prominent nesting species. From May 1 to October 31, 2021, nesting data of sea turtles, all of which were loggerheads, were collected on Kiawah Island, South Carolina by the Kiawah Island Turtle Patrol. This data was retrieved from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in January of 2022. In November 2021, light values were collected by the researcher using a Unihedron Sky Quality Meter-L (SQM-L) every 0.1 mile increment for approximately 6.8 miles of Kiawah Island. The beach was broken down into 68 zones. For every zone, a light value was recorded and a corresponding amount of nests and amount of false crawls that occurred in that zone were recorded. To examine the impact of artificial light pollution on multiple aspects of loggerhead nesting, multiple linear regression analyses were conducted. Both statistical analyses produced insignificant results with a p-value of 0.934 for false crawl distribution and a p-value of 0.058 for nest distribution. Therefore, a relationship cannot be determined between either variables. This could suggest the effectiveness of lighting regulations currently implemented on Kiawah Island.