Tag Archives: climate

Sea turtles and climate change: a new understanding

iStock_000007256605XSmallClimate changes definitely have an effect on loggerhead sea turtle populations- but for different reasons than researchers earlier suspected.

Earlier studies suggested that climate changes impacted hatchling survival. But new research shows that climate changes affect sea turtles in a different way. When climate changes affect turtles’ foraging areas in the year or two before their nesting years, breeding females aren’t able to reproduce successfully… thus, fewer nests.

Sea turtlesĀ can have extremely long lifespans. Unfortunately, less than .2% of hatchlings survive to breeding age. But those that do survive to breeding age (approximately 31 years) can have a successful breeding lifetime of over 25 years!

This study suggests that protecting juveniles and adults should be a higher priority than hatchlings. Not to say that protecting nests and hatchlings isn’t important, but since so few hatchlings survive, efforts should be focused on protecting the ones who do make it closer to breeding age in order to help the species more effectively.

These research studies are important because they give scientists clues as to how to channel conservation efforts. Check out this link for more information: