BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Despite the booming number of nests this year, nearly all sea turtles that are being born are female, and many of them with deformities.
These issues are alarming to conservationists, according to a report from FOX 35 Orlando.
While it is easy to focus on the increasing number of nests found along the Florida coastline, it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Climate change could erase all the hard work that’s been done to save the turtles. Researchers are finding that 99% of eggs being hatched in recent years are female.
“In reptiles, temperatures determine the gender, and in sea turtles warm temperatures create females,” said Joel Cohen of the Sea Turtle Preservation Society based in Brevard County. “We have 99 to 100 percent female nests. So that’s not going to bode well for a future sea turtle population.”
Cohen says that these numbers have been especially frustrating because Florida and Brevard County have done amazing work in the conservation of its beaches.
“Lots of work and science and money has gone into research in keeping these animals from going extinct,” he said. “Now restoring their populations to historic numbers may not ever happen.”
Efforts like turning off lights at night, beach clean-ups and beach restoration have paid dividends.
He hopes that more actions can be taken quickly to combat the climate change causing harm to sea turtles.