Péron, C. , Chevallier, D., Martin G., Chatelet A., Anthony, E.J., Le Maho Y., Gardel, A., 2013. Beach morphological changes in response to marine turtles nesting: a preliminary study of Awala-Yalimapo beach, French Guiana (South America)
Each year from February through July, Chelonia mydas (green turtles) and Dermochelys coriacea (leatherback turtles) come to nest on Awala-Yalimapo beach. During the nesting season, the presence of gravid turtles may directly affect the general morphology of the beach by provoking sand remobilization during firstly the conception of their nest and then during the nest disguising. Digital elevation models were realized to qualify and quantify the topographic modification conducted by the macro-bioturbation effect of marine turtles. Green turtles and leatherback turtles do not provoke the same perturbation on the beach. C. mydas affect the upper part of the beach by constructing their nest. Whereas D.coriacea provoke more important impact on the lower upper-beach when they come to lay. During the covering activity leatherback tend to disturb the morphology of the beach around their nests. Morphological changes on the beach during the nesting season draw attention to the potential effect of animal on their terrestrial habitat.