Beach Shading: A tool to mitigate the effects of climate change on sea turtles

D. Burke \ Oceans First, Issue 3, 2016, pgs. 10-16

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Abstract: Climate change may greatly impact sea turtles as rising temperatures can have negative effects on their development and survival. Primary sex ratios may become female dominated, with no males being produced. Higher female sex rations are correlated to other factors of hatchling survival such as: succession, emergence, size, and locomotive abilities. There are lower rates of succession and emergence in hatchlings that developed in lower temperatures due to mutations and disorientation, resulting in death. Smaller and weaker hatchlings are being produced in high temperatures, resulting in turtles that are easy prey for predators. Increased temperatures also cause turtles to be slower crawlers and take longer to self-right themselves, further extending the time they are exposed to predators. Currently, shading is the most studied method to reverse the negative effects of increasing temperature on sea turtles. By balancing the sex ratio, increasing succession, emergence, size, and locomotive abilities there will an increase in the turtle population while maintaining an even sex ratio. This review synthesizes the effects of climate change on sea turtles and how to mitigate them with shading, to provide working tactics for future conservation.