99 Percent Sea Turtles Are Now Born Female – Find Out Why?
Global warming resulting in strange gender disparity in turtles across the world
According to scientists, global warming is leading to a crisis in the gender ratios of sea turtles as 99 percent of them are born female. The experts blame climate change and soaring temperatures for this significant population decline of male sea turtles. Florida is facing rising temperatures for over four years now and this condition is leading to a disproportionate number of female newborns.
Unlike other animals, the sea turtle’s sex is not determined after the fertilization of eggs. Instead, the male or female gender in sea turtles depends on the ground temperature in which the eggs incubate. If the eggs of a turtle incubate below 27 degrees Celsius, the hatchling will be male.
On the other hand, if eggs incubate above 31 degrees Celsius, the hatching will be female. If temperatures are somewhere between two extremes, there are mixed male and female baby turtles.
But since Florida’s last four summers have been recorded as the hottest, its impact is now evident on turtle species, according to National Ocean Service. Not just Florida, even an Australian study revealed the same gender disparity in turtles.
Typically, sea turtles dig their nests in summer, in June or July. The eggs take two to three months to incubate before hatching. Besides the hot sand, other factors that are impacting the species include beach erosion, pollution, and habitat loss leading to a decline in the numbers.
As a result, most beach towns have started identifying the nesting spots of turtles and closing off those areas to protect their eggs. However, volunteers are also helpless when it comes to controlling the impact of rising temperatures.