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Effects of artificial lighting along a beach on loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta)

Example of artificial lighting along a beach. Artificial lights inhibit the reproduction of loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in two ways. First, adult females tend to avoid laying their eggs on beaches with artificial light. Second, hatchlings become disoriented and fail to migrate toward the ocean and instead wander along the beach and even further inlands. While wandering, disoriented hatchlings are more susceptible to nocturnal predators and become exhausted. Sources of artificial light include streetlights, sky glow, exterior lights on commercial establishments, beachfront homes, and even people near the beach carrying flashlights and setting bonfires.
Resource Group Biology and Conservation of Loggerhead Sea Turtles

This collection of images shows events associated with the reproduction of the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) - a marine species with a worldwide distribution. Loggerheads are listed as Endangered on a worldwide basis. In the United States, loggerheads are listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act and are protected by federal and state laws. The loggerhead nesting population in the southeastern United States continues to decline, and conservation experts recommend that this species be reclassified from Threatened to Endangered.
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords marine reptile, human impacts, beaches, hatchlings, migration, mating strategy, life cycle, conservation management strategies, threatened, IUCN
Key taxa Caretta caretta
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Description This series of images can be used in lectures dealing with marine biology, conservation biology, and herpetology. It can also be used in courses that take field trips to coastal locations where loggerheads nest. To promote active learning, it can be used to as a set-up piece to promote class discussion of human impacts on species, such as whether people should limit otherwise normal activities (having outdoor lighting) to prevent harm to a single natural species.
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation CoastalAmerica
Primary Author email
Submitter Name Arturo Herrera
Submitter Email
Rights Arturo Herrera
Date Of Record Submission 2011-05-05

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