Please select your home edition
Edition
Abell Point Marina 728x90 Moor

Key to saving turtles from climate change is nesting site protection

by CoECRS on 27 Feb 2013
Turtle nesting ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies © http://www.coralcoe.org.au/

International marine scientists have warned that it will be vital to protect key marine turtle nesting grounds and areas that may be suitable for turtle nesting in the future to ensure that the marine reptiles have a better chance of withstanding climate change.

A new study reveals that some turtle populations in the West Indian Ocean, Northeast Indian Ocean, North Pacific Ocean, East Atlantic Ocean and the East Pacific Ocean are among the least likely to recover from the impacts of climate change.

'To give marine turtles a better chance of coping with climate change, we have to protect their nesting sites and to address threats such as bycatch and coastal development,' says Dr Mariana Fuentes from the ARC Centres of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (CoECRS) and James Cook University.

'We have seen sea turtle populations decline dramatically in recent decades, and it is likely to get worse due to climate change, as they’re particularly vulnerable to it.

'Climate change can affect their nesting beaches through sea level rise, stronger cyclones and storms; high temperatures can cause their eggs to die before they hatch, or produce an unnatural sex ratio and adversely affect their food sources.'

'At present there are three ways we can tackle climate-related threats,' Dr Fuentes says. 'We can reduce global greenhouse emissions, actively manage for direct impacts from climate change by manipulating the nesting thermal environment with shade, for example, and build the turtles’ resilience, that is, their ability to recover from the negative impacts.

'Reducing emissions is perhaps the biggest challenge, but even if we were able to cut greenhouse emissions immediately, it will not stop the already apparent and unavoidable impacts of climate change on turtles.'

'Also, we don’t know the risks of implementing actions, such as relocating, manipulating or managing turtle populations, or how effective these strategies are,' she says. 'So until we understand more about the risks and effects of active strategies, we should focus on increasing the turtles’ resilience.

'This means that we must better understand what factors influence their ability to recover from the negative effects of climate change.'

Together with sea turtle specialists from around the world, the CoECRS researchers identified that nesting ground vulnerability and non-climate threats, including coastal development and fishery bycatch, as the greatest influences on resilience of marine turtles to climate change.

The researchers also pinpointed the world’s 13 turtle regional management units – large scale conservation areas – that are the least resilient to climate change. These are distributed across three major ocean basins and are important breeding grounds for six of the world’s seven species of sea turtle – flatbacks, loggerheads, green turtles, leatherbacks, hawksbills, olive ridleys and Kemp’s ridleys.

'Eleven of the least resilient conservation areas that we identified are the ones most likely to lose their turtle rookeries,' Dr Fuentes says. 'This highlights the particular importance of protecting key regional nesting beaches and to legally protect areas that may be suitable for turtle nesting in the future.

'Turtles have existed for millions of years and were here long before humans. It would be a complete tragedy if they were to become extinct as a result of our actions and our lack of care.'

The study 'Resilience of marine turtle regional management units to climate change' by Fuentes MMPB, Pike DA, Dimattero A and Wallace BP is published in Global Change Biology. See: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12138/abstract

http://www.coralcoe.org.au/

Pantaenius - Fixed ValueEnsign 660Barz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

Auckland on the Water Boat Show - Showers don't deter crowds on Day 2
A tsunami of boating fans of all persuasions swept through the gates of the Auckland On the Water Boat Show this morning A tsunami of boating fans of all persuasions swept through the gates of the Auckland On the Water Boat Show when they opened this morning. Whether it was a result of the morning weather forecast or Friday was just a convenient day - who knows?
Posted on 30 Sep
New Zealand Maritime radio channels set to change on 1 October
Before you head out on the water next summer there are some important maritime radio changes you need to know about. Before you head out on the water next summer there are some important maritime radio changes you need to know about. On 1 October 2016, New Zealand is changing some maritime VHF repeater channels, and NowCasting weather services, to make space for new international ship tracking and data services, and to make sure our VHF radio services are compatible with the rest of the world.
Posted on 20 Sep
The sound of a healthy reef
A new study from WHOI help researchers understand ways that marine larvae use sound as cue to settle on coral reefs A new study from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will help researchers understand the ways that marine animal larvae use sound as a cue to settle on coral reefs. The study, published on August 23rd in the online journal Scientific Reports, has determined that sounds created by adult fish and invertebrates may not travel far enough for larvae —which hatch in open ocean
Posted on 31 Aug
A slithery ocean mystery
One sentence in a New York Times article caught Larry Pratt’s eye and set the scientific investigation in motion. One sentence in a New York Times article caught Larry Pratt’s eye and set the scientific investigation in motion. The story was about fishermen harvesting juvenile eels in coastal waters of the Gulf of Maine and selling them for more than $2,500 a pound, mostly for unagi in Asian fish markets.
Posted on 30 Aug
TowBoatUS Ocean City removes harmful fishing nets
Earlier this summer, three miles of open water was all that separated two efforts to protect and nurture marine life Earlier this summer, three miles of open water was all that separated two efforts to protect and nurture marine life on the Atlantic Coast.
Posted on 12 Aug
WHO statement on Zika virus
The third meeting of the EC convened by the Director-General under IHR 2005 regarding microcephaly and Zika virus The third meeting of the Emergency Committee (EC) convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005) regarding microcephaly, other neurological disorders and Zika virus was held by teleconference on 14 June 2016, from 13:00 to 17:15 Central European Time.
Posted on 16 Jun
Have your say at Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion assessment
Marine Estate Management Authority undertakes assessment to develop options to enhance marine biodiversity conservation. The Marine Estate Management Authority has developed eight suggested management initiatives to enhance marine biodiversity conservation and help reduce priority threats.
Posted on 14 Apr
Zika virus situation report
From 1 January 2007 to 16 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 59 countries and territories. From 1 January 2007 to 16 March 2016, Zika virus transmission was documented in a total of 59 countries and territories. Cuba and Dominica are the latest to report autochthonous (local) transmission of Zika virus on 14 and 15 March, respectively. Five of these countries and territories reported a Zika virus outbreak that is now over.
Posted on 2 Apr
Reef sharks take small bites
Coral reef sharks eat prey that are smaller than a cheeseburger Sharks have a reputation for having voracious appetites, but a new study shows that most coral reef sharks eat prey that are smaller than a cheeseburger
Posted on 20 Mar
What kind of damage can micro-plastics do?
We look into plastics escape from our household drains and what kind of damage they can do to marine life Although microbeads from rinse off cosmetics have received a lot of attention lately, the tiny plastics most often being found in our seafood are a different kind of synthetic. We look into marine life in the US and Australia, to find out what plastics escape our household drains and what kind of damage they can do.
Posted on 18 Mar