Climate Change effect- Red Sea Turtles are being born Female mostly
A new study has shown that the Turtle populations in the Red Sea are being born overwhelmingly female. The study has cited that this is the result of rising sea temperatures caused due to anthropogenic climate change
- A team of researchers were from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.
- The team selected five sites in the region where hawksbill and green turtles are mostly found.
- Sand temperature were collected by automated data loggers at the nest depths of both species. The temperature was collected every 15 minutes for five months in 2018.
What is the issue?
- The Red Sea is home to five species of sea turtles out of total seven species.
- For these species, the population of males and females in the 50:50 ratio is maintained at a temperature of 29.2 degrees Celsius.
- If the temperature is above this, hatchlings would be predominantly female.
- The sand temperatures at four of the sites was recorded above 29.2 degrees, Because of this, the researchers concluded that the ‘feminisation’ of the turtle population could already be happening.
The sea turtle belongs to the superfamily Chelonioidea. They are also called as the marine turtles. These are the reptiles of the order Testudines. There are seven existing species of sea turtles. They include- green sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, olive Ridley sea turtle, Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle and flatback sea turtle. For each of the seven species, there exists no sexual dimorphism. It means, females and males are of the same size.