Sunday, 1 April 2018

What three feet of seawater could mean for the world's turtles

Sea level rise to impact about 90 percent of coastal freshwater turtles

Date:  March 26, 2018
Source:  University of California - Davis

Ninety percent of the world's coastal freshwater turtle species are expected to be affected by sea level rise by 2100, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

The study, published in Early View online today in the journal Biological Reviews, is the first comprehensive global assessment of freshwater turtles that frequent brackish, or slightly salty, waters. The study may help guide conservation strategies for turtles.

"About 30 percent of coastal freshwater species have been found or reported in a slightly saltwater environment," said lead author Mickey Agha, a UC Davis graduate student in associate professor Brian Todd's lab in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. "But they tend to live within a low-level range of salinity. If sea level rise increases salinity, we don't yet know if they'll be able to adapt or shift their range."

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