Last updated October 10, 2018

Climate change and temperature-linked hatchling mortality at a globally important sea turtle nesting site

  • States that recently, concerns for species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in a warming world have increased because imbalanced sex ratios could potentially threaten population viability
  • States that relatively little attention has been given to the direct effects of increased temperatures on successful embryonic development 
  • Investigates the effects of warming incubation temperatures on the survival of hatchlings in nests using 6,603 days of sand temperature data recorded across 6 years at the Cape Verde Islands, a globally important loggerhead sea turtle rookery
  • Results show that higher temperatures increase the natural growth rate of the population as more females are produced
  • Results also show that as incubation temperatures near lethal levels, the natural growth rate of the population decreases and the long-term survival of this turtle population is threatened
  • Underlines the need for research to extend from a focus on temperature-dependent sex determination to a focus on temperature-linked hatchling mortalities