BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA (CBSMiami) – International research has found a staggering amount of Green Sea Turtles in the Great Barrier Reef, are female.
Scientists are concerned for the species’ future, with soaring temperatures blamed for the staggering increase.
They’re considered one of the most majestic creatures of the sea, but a new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States and scientists in Australia, has revealed Green Sea Turtles in the Great Barrier Reef are at risk.
“There are virtually no male turtles being born on the Great Barrier Reef on that northern section and it goes to show how the Great Barrier Reef is on the forefront of climate change,” said Dermot O’Gorman with the World Wildlife Foundation in Australia.
The research found over the past twenty years, primarily females were born in the northern part of the reef because of increasing temperatures.
While in the cooler sections, the southern region, more males hatched, but almost 70 percent were still female, due to temperatures determining the turtle’s sex.
“At this stage, I don’t think I can say they will go extinct, but as this trend continues, as climate change continues to put pressures, I do think the long-term sustainability of those populations has to be under question,” said O’Gorman.
WWF Australia says simple solutions to combat the problem can be put in place.
To help ensure more males are produced well into the future, O’Gorman says, “putting shade cloth over some of the key nesting beaches which will reduce the sand temperature and therefore increase the male ratio.”