Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Georgia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Georgia Project


Impacts of Extreme High Tide Events on Sea Turtle Nesting on Georgia Barrier Islands

August 2015 - April 2018


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Climate change and associated sea level rise is expected to lead to an increase in extreme high tide events and consequent storm surges, erosion, and coastal flooding on the Atlantic coast. Reproductive success of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), which is listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, is dependent on the timing of emergence, nest siting, and nest laying activity, and these in turn are linked to dynamics of tidal cycles and storm events. Conservation of the loggerhead sea turtle requires an understanding of how nesting habitats and hatchling productivity will be affected by factors associated with climate change. Results from this work will help Georgia Department of Natural Resources and other management agencies understand the likely impact of extreme high tide events on sea turtle productivity and the necessary conservation measures needed to mitigate against adverse impacts. This research was conducted in collaboration with Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the University of Georgia. This work produced projections of the frequency of extreme high tide events, which served as inputs to models that predicted nest success in response to physiographic and habitat attributes of the nest. This research will be used by conservation agencies in Georgia and elsewhere to plan for mitigation and adaptation strategies for the turtle.

Presentations Presentation Date
Wilson, A. M., M. Dodd, and C. Moore. 2017. [Poster] The impacts of extreme high tide events on sea turtle nesting along the Georgia barrier islands. 2017 Wildlife Research Meeting, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, 8 August 2017, Mansfield, GA. 2017-08-08
Wilson, A. M., M. Dodd, and C. T. Moore. 2017. The impacts of extreme high tide events on sea turtle nesting along the Georgia barrier islands. Poster; 37th International Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation, 15-20 April 2017, Las Vegas, NV. 2017-04-15
Wilson, A. M., M. Dodd, and C. T. Moore. 2018. Sea turtle nest elevation and hatch success in response to extreme high tide events. Southeast Regional Sea Turtle Meeting, 12-16 February 2018, Myrtle Beach, SC. 2018-02-12
Wilson, A. M., M. Dodd, and C. T. Moore. 2017. [Poster] The impacts of extreme high tide events on sea turtle nesting along the Georgia barrier islands. Georgia Environmental Conference, 23-25 August 2017, Jekyll Island, GA. 2017-08-23
Wilson, A. M., M. Dodd, and C. T. Moore. 2018. Sea turtle nest elevation and hatch success in response to extreme high tide events. Presentation at 2018 Annual Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, 22-25 February 2018, Helen, GA. 2018-02-24
Wilson, A. M., M. Dodd, J. Hepinstall-Cymerman, J. Maerz, and C. T. Moore. 2017. A Bayesian hierarchical model of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nest success response to extreme high tide events. The Wildlife Society 24th Annual Conference, 23-27 September 2017, Albuquerque, NM. 2017-09-27
Wilson, A. W., M. Dodd, C. T. Moore. 2017. The impacts of extreme high tide events on sea turtle nesting along the Georgia barrier islands. Graduate Climate Conference, 10-12 November 2017, Woods Hole, MA. ** NOT ACCEPTED ** 2017-11-10
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Wilson, A. W. 2018. The impacts of extreme high tide events on sea turtle nesting along the Georgia barrier islands. M.S. Thesis, University of Georgia, Athens 2018-05-31