Over 90% of turtles born female due to climate change | WWF
Over 90% of turtles born female due to climate change

Posted on 08 January 2018

A new study has revealed that increasing temperatures are turning green turtle populations almost completely female in the northern Great Barrier Reef.
A new study has revealed that increasing temperatures are turning green turtle populations almost completely female in the northern Great Barrier Reef. 

This is disastrous news for the northern GBR population of more than 200,000 nesting females – one of the largest in the world – which could eventually crash without more males.
 


Increasing temperatures in Queensland's north, linked to climate change, are being blamed. The temperature of the sand around turtle eggs determines the sex of turtles with a warmer nest resulting in more females.

Over 99% of juvinile green turtles born in the warmer northern nesting beaches are female, as are over 86% of adults in the same area.



WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said Australians, and many people around the world, would be concerned at yet another climate change impact on the nation’s most popular icon.
 
“First back-to-back mass coral bleaching and now we find that virtually no male northern green turtles are being born,” said Dermot O’Gorman “These impacts show that the Great Barrier Reef really is at the frontline of climate change."
 
“Australia must adopt ambitious climate change targets that will save the Reef and its unique creatures"
 
Green turtle hatchling
© Roger Leguen / WWF