Rising ocean temperature and its effect on the loggerhead sea turtle population

A. Whitworth \ Oceans First, Issue 5, 2018, pgs. 45-51.  Download PDF

Abstract

Rising ocean temperatures are causing detrimental changes in loggerhead nesting sites, producing a gender bias among turtle offspring. Temperature change is discussed in relation to how it has altered gender development and why there is a female bias. The gender bias is a key factor affecting loggerhead survival, and understanding the causes is essential to the species longevity. Determining the effect that prey loss and decreased foraging grounds have will allow species management strategies to be created. Increased frequency of tropical storms is examined in relation to loggerhead population. The overall hypothesis of this paper is that loggerhead sea turtle populations, prey, and nesting grounds are critically sensitive to increasing sea surface temperature. Determining how temperature dependency affects the Loggerhead population, and what can be done to mitigate nest damage are critical to the survival of the species.