Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes “feminisation” of the species, new research suggests.
But a study by the University of Exeter and the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal) shows that in warmer temperatures predicted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, 76-93% of hatchlings would be female.
The figures are specific to the study site in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, but researchers say they expect a similar picture globally.
They say the changing gender ratio would initially lead to more females nesting, increasing the population, before by a decline “as incubation temperatures approach lethal levels”.
They also predict rising sea levels will submerge 33-43% of current nesting areas used by green turtles on the beaches where the study was carried out.
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