Have you ever wonderd what the climate change has done to the turtles ability to survive?
Young turtles which developed under the highest temperature showed reduced swimming ability and a preference for shallower waters. Deeper water not only provides the young turtles with protection from all the predators but also where their food supply is found. Younger turtles with bad swimming abilities are unable to feed and are very likely to get eaten by birds. This result is worrying as climate change predictions for the area suggest that nest temperature is most likely to be reached in the coming decades. When the clamate affects the turtles swiming ability it also afects the grender of the turtles.
The gender of the baby turtles is determined by the temperature of the eggs during incubation, with the warmer temperatures leading to more females. This is threatening the future of some populations and there are concerns that inbreeding within groups due to the lack of males will lead to health problems. The researchers found that due to the high summer temperatures, 95 % of babies are female. Through DNA testing, they were able to ascertain the paternity of baby turtles and, contrary to what they had expected they found a large number of mating males. Although the turtles gender has been affected also the nesting habits have changed.
The warmer beach has darker sand, whereas the neighboring beach is two to three degrees Celsius cooler because it has white sand. Green turtles travel from the coast of South America to the tiny island to nest. Most female turtles nest on the beaches where they themselves hatched, so populations can become adapted to specific nesting locations. Monitoring focused on adult female turtles that nest along the coast from North Carolina to Georgia each summer and showed that they forage in shallow warm waters off most of the United States eastern seaboard. The study also revealed that the turtles which travel as far north to forage as New Jersey have to head south to avoid the cold winter there.
Do you think there is a way to help?
What orgionizations have helped the turtles?
What other animals have been affected to this climate change?