Effectiveness of monitoring techniques employed to determine reproductive success of marine turtles in Cuba

Julia Azanza-Ricardo, José Luis Gerhartz-Muro, Yanet Forneiro Martín-Viaña, Félix Moncada-Gavilán


DOI: https://doi.org/10.3856/vol43-issue3-fulltext-16

Monitoring of nesting has been used globally to estimate the population size of marine turtles. Nevertheless, monitoring effort varies widely, for instance in Cuba, four different approaches are applied: nighttime systematic monitoring, daytime systematic monitoring, sporadic monitoring with nest verification, and sporadic monitoring with no verification. These variations imply that the amount and accuracy of data gathered and the quality of derived information, differ amongst the approaches. This paper assesses the effectiveness of the different methodologies used for determining the reproduction success of marine turtles in Cuba. Nighttime systematic monitoring is only carried out in one area, while sporadic monitoring with nest verification is the most used approach along the country. The proportion of the nesting season covered with monitoring personnel is low in most of the beaches and for all the three species (Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta and Eretmochelys imbricata), although the species in the most critical situation is hawksbill. Significant differences were found between systematic and sporadic monitoring, which has important implications for the understanding of the nesting behavior, as the capacity to detect false and true crawls essentially depends on the monitoring frequency, according to our findings. Low detection capacity in sporadic monitoring hampered the development of efficiency assessments in all the nesting beaches. In summary, despite the effort carried out nationwide to monitor nesting populations that has even increased in the last three years, important gaps exists and new monitoring strategies are needed to guarantee the right information for the species is gathered, while adequate cost-benefit balance is achieved.

Azanza-Ricardo J, Gerhartz-Muro J, Forneiro Martín-Viaña Y, Moncada-Gavilán F. Effectiveness of monitoring techniques employed to determine reproductive success of marine turtles in Cuba. Lat. Am. J. Aquat. Res.. 2017;43(3): 548-556. Available from: doi:10.3856/vol43-issue3-fulltext-16 [Accessed 15 Nov. 2019].
Azanza-Ricardo, J., Gerhartz-Muro, J., Forneiro Martín-Viaña, Y., & Moncada-Gavilán, F. (2017). Effectiveness of monitoring techniques employed to determine reproductive success of marine turtles in Cuba. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 43(3), 548-556. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3856/vol43-issue3-fulltext-16