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Data from: Optimising the hatching success of artificially incubated eggs for use in a conservation program for the western saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys bellii)

Citation

Streeting, Louise et al. (2022), Data from: Optimising the hatching success of artificially incubated eggs for use in a conservation program for the western saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys bellii), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0cfxpnw69

Abstract

Artificial incubation of eggs and the release of hatchlings into the wild is a common conservation intervention designed to augment threatened turtle populations. We investigate a range of incubation temperatures to establish an optimal temperature for maximum hatching success of western saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys bellii) eggs. We report on the influence of incubation temperature on incubation duration and hatching success and describe two experimental incubation methods which, for the same incubation temperature, resulted in 77% and 97% hatching success, respectively. Eggs were incubated at constant temperatures (27°C, 28°C and 29°C) to determine the influence of temperature on incubation period, hatchling morphology and external residual yolk. Incubation duration was negatively correlated with incubation temperature. We report on the morphology of eggs and hatchlings and show that their dimensions are positively correlated with maternal adult size and mass. A constant incubation temperature of 27°C produced the highest hatching success and smallest external residual yolk on hatching and is therefore recommended for incubation of eggs for population reinforcement programs. Our study is the first to optimise artificial incubation procedures for M. bellii and will be a valuable resource for M. bellii and other threatened freshwater turtle conservation initiatives.

Methods

Methods used for collection/generation of data are described in the publication:

Streeting LM, Bower DS, Dillon ML, Spark P, Gough M, Skidmore A, McDonald PG, Delaney H, Burns A, Watson S, Dissanayake DSB, Georges A and McKnight DT (2022). Optimising the hatching success of artificially incubated eggs for use in a conservation program for the western saw-shelled turtle (Myuchelys bellii). Australian Journal of Zoology.

Funding

NSW Environmental Trust