There are many environmental factors that affect whether or not a turtle will choose to nest on a particular beach. For instance, high sand walls on a beach can reduce the availability of good nesting areas for sea turtles. And if they can’t find a good nesting site, they will leave the beach without nesting (this is called a “false crawl”). High walls can also affect the erosion rate of the beach sand. One possibility is that the sand could erode too fast, and cause the level of the beach to lower. If a turtle nested in a lowered area of the beach, there is the chance the nest would become covered in water.
Here at Reserva Playa Tortuga, we are undertaking a new study where we are measuring the rate of erosion along the sea turtle nesting habitat on the beach. This will allow us to understand the relationship between a changing beach and nesting sea turtles. Volunteers will help collect erosion data during low tide. And right now, we have Ashley, from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, interning with our director Oscar on this project.