What fuels the Wadden Sea food web? This is the question that we addressed in one of the largest ecological research projects in the Netherlands, the recently finalized “Waddensleutels” program. The answer is surprising, and has been published last month in Ecology…
Just back from our field expedition to Bonaire…
Hello Everyone, Marjolijn has introduced me in her earlier posts; I am Fionne Kiggen and at the moment I am undertaking sea turtle research in St Eustatius for my Masters thesis at Wageningen University. Continue reading “Guest post: Fionne’s research – sea turtle nest temperatures St. Eustatius”
Our in-water survey of sea turtles and their habitats in St. Eustatius (a.k.a. “Statia”) was very successful. We aimed to collect data to analyse the habitat use and population connectivity of green and hawksbill turtles as part of a larger NWO research program encompassing the 6 Dutch Caribbean Islands. Continue reading “36 turtles tagged in St. Eustatius”
Based on the monitoring data on nesting turtles that Jessica Berkel and her team at STENAPA are collecting we were able to predict the turtle’s return to the beaches. For this we used the inter-nesting durations of the first green turtles tracks that were reported for Zeelandia beach, St. Eustatius. Equipped with a turtle box, satellite transmitters, our red headlights and the turtle research kit we headed to the beach and already after an hour of beach patrols we found a female green turtle. Continue reading “Satellite tags placed on nesting green turtles, St. Eustatius”
Sea turtle sex is not determined at the time of fertilization like in humans, it is set by the temperature level during nest incubation. Recently for some small island rookeries througout the Caribbean researchers reported a shift towards a more female dominated hatchlings/populations as nest temperatures slightly increased in these areas (warmer beaches result in female turtles). At St. Eustatius we will further asses the driving factors of sand temperatures in natural nest and experimental treatments, link it to nest succes, and compare these with that of other Caribbean islands and beyond. Continue reading “All females? Experimental nest temperature assessments will show.”
Lisa Becking (Wageningen University and IMARES) and I, together with Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) ; Mabel Nava, Sue Willis and Robert van Dam have shown in a recent publication that sea turtles who breed in Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands, migrate great distances of up to 3500km to reach their foraging grounds across the Caribbean in 10 different countries. Continue reading “New Publication shows Dutch Caribbean turtles migrate into risky waters”
Grazing is an important driver of ecosystem functioning! Not only in seagrass ecosystems :). This paper is a result of a very nice collaboration with Liesbeth Bakker and other colleagues working on herbivory in other ecosystems.