Global Heating Means Almost Every Sea Turtle in Florida Now Born Female

Baby sea turtle in hand.

Photo: Getty Images

According to scientists, nearly every single sea turtle born on Florida beaches in the past 4 years has been female. Although some might say "the future is female", that concept could be detrimental for the population of these protected animals.

CNN reported this week that the spike in female baby turtles is a result of the scorching heat triggered by a growing climate crisis that is warming up the sands on our beaches.

According to the National Ocean Service, "if a turtle’s eggs incubate below 27C (82F), the turtle hatchlings will be male. If the eggs incubate above 31C (89F), the hatchlings will be female. Temperatures that waver between the two extremes will result in a mix of male and female baby turtles."

According to researchers, the warmer the sand, also the higher the ratio of female turtles.

The National Ocean Service also noted, “As the Earth experienced climate change, increased temperatures could result in skewed and even lethal incubation conditions, which would impact turtle species and other reptiles.”

Bette Zirkelbach is the manager of the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida Keys, and in a statement to Reuters, she explained: “The frightening thing is the last four summers in Florida have been the hottest summers on record. Scientists that are studying sea turtle hatchlings and eggs have found no boy sea turtles, so only female sea turtles for the past four years.”

Scientists worry that the sea turtle population will eventually suffer due to the uneven male-to-female ratio.


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