Project Page

Evaluating Orientation Response of Sea Turtle Hatchlings to Physical Cues on Nesting Beaches

Implementing Organization

State of Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Sea Turtles

Project Description

This project will investigate sea turtle hatchling orientation response to specific cues related to physical and biological beach features to inform future conservation and restoration actions of nesting habitat along Florida’s developed beaches. It will improve understanding of hatchling perception of and response to visible light using laboratory and field experiments. The project will measure the visual landscape (e.g., light and dark areas) on study beaches likely to have artificial lighting issues and use behavioral assays (hatchling orientation indices and arena assays) to assess the relationship between hatchling orientation and different structural alterations (e.g., installing a light shield or taller vegetation) designed to alter the existing light environment on the beaches. This work will address sea turtle restoration goals identified in the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and Strategic Framework for Sea Turtle Restoration Activities.


Gareth Leonard
(850) 617-9452
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

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