The staff of the University of Queensland (Australia) together with local activists from WWF is testing methods of cooling nests of turtles, as global warming threatens the populations of reptiles in the tropics.
Scientists plan to cool a small number of nests by sea water and shading them constructions made of palm leaves. Fellow the University of Queensland Melissa Staines claims that the initiative was triggered by research indicating that more than 99 percent of young green turtles (Chelonia mydas) foraging on the Northern Great Barrier reef females.
Far North Queensland is the northernmost part of the Australian state of Queensland where there are three world heritage sites: the Great barrier reef, Queensland wet tropics and Reversely — the largest in Australia, the place with the remains of fossil mammals. In addition, this is the only region of Australia in which to live as the aborigines and islanders of the Torres Strait.
“Scientists say that all the fault of hot sand, which heats up due to global climate change. This has raised some concerns about the future of this species. In the nests, which are located in the extreme Northern region of Australia and the temperature of which is greater than 29.1 degrees Celsius, appear mostly females. The temperature of the sand above 34 degrees Celsius for the animals to death,” says Staines.
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Australia (Australian Federation) – a country in the southern hemisphere, located on the Australian mainland and Tasmania.
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Experts found in some nests of turtles special sensors that read temperature, and indicated that there is enough in them cold to ensure the healthy development of males. These data will be compared with the control slot, is left in the sun. Queensland scientists since 1990, watching the nesting bissy (Eretmochelys imbricata, a species of sea turtle, the only member of the genus Eretmochelys, on the verge of extinction), and green turtles on Milman island in one of the longest monitoring projects in the Western Pacific ocean. This tiny island was chosen because the researchers can test methods of cooling nests of both species. In addition, it is the most suitable place for testing the shadow of the buildings.
“On the island of the Rhine, 120 kilometers to the South, a large number of green turtles coming ashore every night, unable to overturn any of the shadow structures. According to our estimates, Northern Great Barrier reef, there are 200 thousand females of green turtles and up to 90 percent of them nest on the island in the Rhine or in the nearby bays. If our project is successful, the cooling methods can be tested on the island of the Rhine, the largest rookery of green turtles in the world,” says Staines.
Shadow of buildings, made of palm fronds and driftwood can be an alternative method of cooling for Islands that have no resources for construction of irrigation system or no access to shadow fabric and other materials.
As reported by “Around the world. Ukraine”, sea turtles are losing males due to global warming.