Global warming affects turtle populations

Turtle conservationHere at Oyster we have a particular interest in turtles as we have two different projects, one in Thailand and one in Costa Rica, that aim to support the dwindling numbers of wild sea turtles. Because of this we were interested to read an article in Biosphere that highlighted the negative impact that global warming can have on sea turtles.

Turtles are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Fascinatingly the temperature of a nest partially determines the gender of the turtle, with more female turtles hatching in warmer conditions. As global warming continues it will lead to the temperature in turtle nests rising and so disproportionate numbers of female turtles hatching. It is not only the gender of the turtles that can be impacted. Research has shown that an increase in sand temperature can lead to weaker, slower hatchlings which would be disastrous because the journey back out to sea is already a perilous one for young turtles.

The combination of these two things could be another hit to the already fragile populations of sea turtles. Research like this reminds us again what a great contribution volunteers can make. If you are interested in taking part in either the Costa Rica turtles project or the Thailand turtle project then take a look at our website or contact anne@oysterworldwide.com.

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