CCU leading study on hatching sea turtles - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

CCU leading study on hatching sea turtles

(Source: Coastal Carolina University webpage) (Source: Coastal Carolina University webpage)

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A Coastal Carolina University student and marine science professor are leading a study that determines how various levels of light affect the movement of hatching sea turtles.

The project will be titled "Loggerhead Sea Turtles Dig the Dark! Artificial Light Effects on Hatchling Movement,"  to determine the level of beachfront light intensity at which sea turtles experience a hard time locating the ocean after they hatch, according to professor of marine science Eric Koepfler and senior marine science major Taylor Harris.

“We guess that there will be a threshold intensity above which hatchlings become disoriented and less efficient at ‘sea finding,’” said Koepfler, who joined the CCU faculty in 1990. “Artificial light is a pollutant which is increasing in U.S. urban environments at a rate of 6 percent per year. Determining hatchling response to various light levels will be important to the long-term conservation strategies for endangered sea turtle species.”

Measuring hatchling movement will require motion activated infrared (non-light) camera technology, according to the Coastal Carolina article.

During the fall months at nighttime, Harris and a group of CCU interns will use the new equipment on area beaches.

More information on the project click here

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