Science

Most sea turtles now female in north Great Barrier Reef

Most sea turtles now female in north Great Barrier Reef

A new scientific paper has warned the northern population, believed to be the largest in the world and consisting of more than 200,000 nesting females, could eventually drastically fall without males.

Speaking to the Guardian, Michael Jensen, the lead author of the study, said they hoped for a few cooler years to produce more males but overall, the temperatures will see an increase.

A sea turtle's sex is dependent on temperature, and the number of female hatchlings rises with the temperature.

The transformation is causing concern scientists' about their future with just 0.2 per cent of the turtles are still male.

The study, published Monday in the journal Current Biology, found 99.8% of green sea turtles near adulthood and originating from the northern - and warmer - part of the Great Barrier Reef were born female. "With average global temperature predicted to increase 2.6°C by 2100 many sea turtle populations are in danger of high egg mortality and female-only offspring production". A few up or down into the temperature can affect the natural balance of this species.

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The study analyzed more than 400 turtles and was conducted by researchers from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection in Australia. Majority of sea turtles from warmer northern beaches, on the other hand, were female, with 86.8 percent of adult turtles, 99.8 percent of sub-adult turtles and 99.1 percent of juvenile turtles turning out to be female. Using a combination of endocrinology and genetic tests, researchers identified the turtles' sex... The increasing rate shows that the place will have only female turtles in the near future.

Green sea turtles are considered endangered throughout much of the world, under siege from coastal debris, loss of habitat, fishing nets, and pollution, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

"Knowing what the sex ratios in the adult breeding population are today and what they might look like 5, 10 and 20 years from now when these young turtles grow up and become adults is going to be incredibly valuable".

The sex at which turtle eggs incubate determines the babies' sex.

The analysis revealed that green sea turtles from cooler southern nesting beaches were about 65 to 69 percent female. The species and ecosystems in the world more affected by Climate change.


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