UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Researchers say climate change is resulting in the birth of too many female green sea turtles, potentially threatening the species’ continued survival.
Whether turtles are born male or female depends on the temperature when eggs incubate.
Warmer temperatures produce females, while cooler temperatures produce males.
Extreme temperatures, however, can skew the sex ratio, and scientists say that is exactly what’s happening in an area of the Great Barrier Reef.
According to a study published Jan. 8 in the journal Current Biology, warmer temperatures have led to a disproportionately high number of females and not enough males.
In a colony on the northern end of the reef more than 99 percent of juveniles and subadults are female.
The findings suggests the colony may not be around for much longer.
Authors of the study said, “complete feminisation of this population is possible in the near future.”