Purdue University Graduate School
Trevor Proctor Thesis.pdf (989.27 kB)

Clutch success and innovative satellite tracking of leatherback sea turtles on Bioko Island,Equatorial Guinea

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posted on 2024-04-22, 22:24 authored by Trevor L ProctorTrevor L Proctor

The Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is a globally vulnerable species suffering from declining populations due to anthropogenic pressures. There are seven recognized Leatherback Sea Turtle regional management units; however, the Southeast Atlantic unit is considered data deficient. Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, is a primary nesting rookery for the Southeast Atlantic regional management unit and has some of the world’s highest numbers of nesting Leatherback Sea Turtles. Despite Bioko Island’s importance to the species, little is known about the nesting ecology or post-nesting migratory movement and behaviors of its nesting Leatherback Sea Turtles. Here, I present the findings of two individual research projects on the nesting ecology of Leatherback Sea Turtles on Bioko Island. First, I explored the long-term clutch success rates (i.e., hatching success and emergence success) of in situ Leatherback Sea Turtle nests on Bioko and searched for associated variables. I found significant spatiotemporal variation over nine nesting seasons, likely driven by individual beach characteristics rather than regional climate patterns. Secondly, I described a novel effort to use solar-reliant towable transmitters to track the post-nesting migratory movements and behaviors of Leatherback Sea Turtles nesting on Bioko Island. With the results from each project, I make recommendations to further the current conservation and research initiatives of Leatherback Sea Turtles.


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Biological Sciences

Campus location

  • Fort Wayne

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Frank Paladino

Additional Committee Member 2

Bruce Kingsbury

Additional Committee Member 3

Scott Bergeson

Additional Committee Member 4

Chelsea Clyde-Brockway

Additional Committee Member 5

Shaya Honarvar

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