Abstract

We analyzed 410 nest locations from 150 individual nesting hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) on the northeastern Brazilian coast during 8 nesting seasons from 2006 to 2014 to evaluate individual nesting preferences. We determined the consistency of nest site choice within and between nesting seasons for open sand and vegetation nest microhabitats and also for nest site distances from the current waterline, highest spring tide, vegetation line, and position along the beach. We found that behavioral consistency within seasons was more robust than between seasons. This suggests that a decrease in the consistency of nest site choice may be related to progressive landscape changes in the nesting environment, driving behavioral flexibility in nesting preferences.

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