Sunday 21 July 2019

No new males: Climate change threat to Cape Verde turtles

JULY 11, 2019
Rising temperatures could mean no male loggerhead turtles hatch at a key breeding ground by the end of this century, new research suggests.
The University of Exeter study also warns that—by 2100—more than 90% of loggerhead nests on the Cape Verde islands could incubate at "lethally high temperatures," killing turtles before they hatch.
The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by incubation temperature, and this study combined current temperature and hatchling data with projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Even under a scenario based on low future emissions and warming, by 2100 just 0.14% of hatchlings would be male.
Under mid and high-emissions scenarios, hatching of male loggerheads could cease entirely.
"Cape Verde hosts one of the largest nesting population of loggerhead turtles in the world—up to 15% of the global nesting total," said Dr. Lucy Hawkes, of the University of Exeter.
"We estimate that 84% of current hatchlings are female, and warmer temperatures will increase this proportion.

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