October 31, 2020

Global warming threatens to have only female green turtles

Global warming threatens to have only female green turtles



Global warming has effects of the most varied and some little expected, such as the "feminization" of the green turtle, because a study suggests that by 2100 up to 93% of the offspring of this species could be females.

The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by temperature and, currently, approximately 52% of those of green turtles (one of the seven species of marine turtles) are females, according to a study published in the Global Change Biolgy magazine. .

The study by the British University of Exeter and the Portuguese Center for Environmental and Marine Sciences indicates that with the scenario of warmer temperatures predicted by the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Climate Change (IPCC), between 76 and 93% of the offspring of Turtle would be females.

The data refers specifically to the Bijagos archipelago in Guinea-Bissau, but researchers expect "globally a similar scenario," according to a statement from the University of Exeter.

The change in the proportion of gender would initially lead to a larger number of females nesting, increasing the population, before a decrease "as incubation temperatures approach deadly levels".

In addition, at the beaches where the study was conducted, experts predict that the increase in the level of the oceans will submerge from 33 to 43% of the areas where the green turtle nests.

One of the authors of the study, Rita Patricio, of the University of Exeter, warned that the green turtle "will have to face problems in the future due to the loss of its habitat and the increase in temperatures"

However, cooler temperatures, both at the end of the nesting season and in the shaded areas, will ensure that some young are male, he added.

The results of the study, the expert explained, "suggest" that the population of green turtles that nest in the Bijagós archipelago will have to face the effects of climate change until 2100.

Bojagós is the most important nesting area of ​​the green turtle in Africa.

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