News Worms
News Worms


Climate change is turning baby green sea turtles female

Climate change is turning baby green sea turtles female

Conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States along with Australian scientists from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, the study found that male green turtles were rapidly declining for around two decades, reports Xinhua news agency.

Biologists consider 84.74 degrees Fahrenheit to be the pivotal temperature for green sea turtles to be born a mixture of female and males.

The sex of green turtles is influenced by temperatures during their incubation period - the proportion of female hatchlings increases when nests are in warmer sands while cooler temperatures produce more male hatchlings.

"Finding that there are next to no males among young northern green turtles should ring alarm bells, but all is not lost for this important population".

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is becoming worrying feminine, with the largest colonies of sea turtles now nearly completely female.

The study analyzed more than 400 turtles and was conducted by researchers from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in Australia.

Release of young green sea turtles back to their foraging ground in the northern Great Barrier
Release of young green sea turtles back to their foraging ground in the northern Great Barrier

Unlike anatomical exams at nesting beaches used to determine the sex of individual hatchlings, the new study used an innovative combination of endocrinology and genetics to assess the sex of hundreds of turtles across a large foraging ground.

Specifically, 99.1% of juveniles, 99.8% of subadults, and 86.8% of adults in the population were female.

The researchers found that a gathering of turtles in the cooler southern piece of the reef were 65 to 69 percent female while a gathering from the water northern piece of the reef skewed considerably more female.

ESCAPE: Discovering Maui's mountains and underwater world story, Kara Murphy - Ho'okipa Honu.Green Sea Turtles. Also, not only the higher temperatures affect the sex of the turtles but also increase mortality rates in turtle offspring.

While in the warmer northern tip of the Reef, female green turtles accounted for a staggering 87 to 99.8 per cent of the population.

For now, the important matter is to look into the current sex ratios in the adult breeding population, and what they might look like after some years from now when these young turtles grow up, Jansen stated. "We know that species evolve in response to climate and other environmental changes, but they need time for that".

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