Headstarting Turtles—Another Perspective
The purpose of this paper is to offer an alternative perspective to a recently published article titled Headstarting Turtles–Is It a Valid Strategy for Wildlife Rehabilitators? (Forrester 2006). The article discredits headstarting past to present, but draws primarily from the historical shortcomings and failures of sea turtle projects. This author would like to clarify that one of the references cited in the previous article, is not opposed to headstarting per se; it is opposed
to its use as the only conservation tool. The article Models to Evaluate Headstarting as a Management Tool for Long–Lived Turtles (Heppell et al 1996) expresses this by stating: “The purpose of our study was to evaluate headstarting as a management tool for threatened turtle populations...We show that management efforts focused exclusively on improving survival in the first year of life are unlikely to be effective for long–lived species such as turtles.” Is there more to the headstarting debate and has the whole story been told? In order to analyze these questions an in–depth look into both the history of sea turtle programs and current research is necessary.
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