World Turtle News, 01/10/2017
Survival Of Sea Turtles From The Great Barrier Reef Hangs In The Balance As Temperatures Rise
Temperature sex determination may be commonly utilized in captive propagation, but for some sea turtles who call the Australian coast their home, this is not such a good thing. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California State University and Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia recently determined that the Chelonia mydas population off the Great Barrier Reef has steadily been turning female during the past 20 years. This is due to a warming trend at the northern part of Australia. The data collected proved that the populations studied in that area were composed of 99% female specimens. They also reported that the species could become extinct in the near future if the issue is not addressed, and that this temperature change not only affects the turtles, but also the numerous other forms of life on the reef. The researchers emphasize the fact that the climate must be addressed in order to preserve this vital reef system.
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Photo from Christine Hoff.