Optimising Reptile Conservation Interventions: Testing the Impacts and Efficiency of Commonly-used Methods to Improve Outcomes
Many Canadian reptile populations are declining and need help overcoming the challenges of the modern world. For this reason, numerous organisations and community groups have become involved in conservation actions, often intervening to safeguard eggs and hatchlings from the threats posed to these early life sages (e.g., predators, degraded habitat, roads and traffic). This project brings together experts in conservation actions with leading researchers in reptile biology to examine how we can improve the success of ‘incubation and release’ conservation interventions. This research applies recent advances in our understanding of the biological impact of the incubation environment on hatchling behavioural and physical traits, as well as how maintaining natural social connections with clutch-mates can benefit hatchlings during reintroduction. Optimising a pre-existing conservation tool will not only serve to increase program success for those undertaking these actions, but will also work to recover and strengthen wild reptile populations, improving Canadian biodiversity.