High Temperatures Linked to Changes in Loggerhead Turtle Nesting

Chelonian Conservation and Biology – Volume 16, Issue 1

What is especially exciting about the area where we are working is its geographical location where the Gulf Stream exits the Caribbean and interacts with the Gulf of Mexico and eastern US seaboard.

Chelonian Conservation and Biology—Loggerhead turtles are particularly susceptible to climate change as the risk of nest flooding increases and the health of hatchlings declines. Florida holds the world’s largest nesting population of loggerheads, yet little is known about the species’ activity in nearby Cuba. A recent article published in Chelonian Conservation and Biology suggests changing climate may be altering the reproduction of this threatened, and in some areas endangered, turtle species.

Researchers from Cuba and the United States have spent 18 years studying loggerheads in the Cuban archipelago. The small loggerhead nesting population of the Guanahacabibes Peninsula has benefited from a local conservation program, but until now, published studies have focused primarily on Cuba’s abundant green turtles and highly endangered hawksbills. Cuba is the only Caribbean country with more than 100 loggerhead nests spread over several nesting sites and lining southwestern beaches.

“What is especially exciting about the area where we are working is its geographical location where the Gulf Stream exits the Caribbean and interacts with the Gulf of Mexico and eastern US seaboard. This puts the turtle population there at an important nexus between three different countries (US, Cuba, Mexico) with considerable connectivity with the rest of the western Caribbean,” said Fernando Bretos, Research Associate at The Ocean Foundation.

Over the course of the 18-year study,…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply